By: Plucky Pickle, SFU Student
Pickles are my favourite form of self-care. Here’s why: sometimes I have a hard time looking after my body. Especially when I’m juggling school, work, and social activities, healthy eating often falls by the wayside. Who has time to cook an entire meal three times a day anyway? Not me. Especially not during the school year.
Enter, the Quick Pickle™: a quick and easy way to spice up any meal, and a great way to sneak some veg into your diet. I love making pickles because they’re super quick, cheap as heck, hard to fuck up, and they last forever. I will literally slap a pickle onto anything: sandwiches, burrito bowls, nachos, you name it. Pickles transform my mediocre student cooking into something elevated. I am also a fan of the 1 a.m. existential crisis pickle, standing in the kitchen in your underwear straight out the jar style. Something about that sweet and salty crunch just makes things better.
Google “Quick Pickle,” and you will find dozens of easy pickling recipes. To be honest though, they all say about the same thing so I will distill them in the sidebar for you.
1 500ml Mason Jar
½ cup Vinegar
½ cup Water
1 cup Vegetable (literally any will do)
1 tsp – 1 tbsp Sugar
1 tsp – 1 tbsp Salt
1-3 tbsp Spices
Clean the mason jars thoroughly. You want to be able to keep these bad boys in the fridge for a couple of weeks so make sure those jars are clean, clean, clean. Add spices and vegetables to the jar. Heat a ratio of 1:1 water to vinegar on the stove, then right before it boils, pour mixture over your vegetables until completely covered. Allow your vegetables to cool to room temperature. Pop your pickles in the fridge and refrigerate. Wait a minimum of three hours, then enjoy!
You can Quick Pickle™ almost anything, so be creative. Here are a few tips: try carrots, beets, onions, garlic, jalapeños, cucumbers, tomatoes, or eggplants. Match your vinegar to your vegetable: basically, the most flavourful vinegars should go with a more flavourful vegetable. Vegetables with a delicate flavour (like cucumbers) pair better with white vinegar. You can add sugar, or salt, or both, but neither are necessary. Try to use whole spices that are not ground up, such as: peppercorn, dill seeds, hot pepper flakes, mustard seed, and celery seed. A little bit of garlic goes a long way. For some quick recipe ideas, I especially like to use pickled carrot spears as a garnish in Bloody Marys, and pickled onions on avocado toast, tacos, or in grilled cheese. Lastly, all the food bloggers say these pickles last up to two weeks, but if you wash your jars real good, I swear you can have pickles for months. Shh, don’t tell them I told you.
Anyway, I’m serious about this self care thing. Making a batch of pickles is like writing a love letter to yourself. Procrastinating school work? Get off your phone and go to the store. Pick out some fun veggies. Add spices and vinegar and then pop them in the fridge. It’s literally that easy. Now you have a delicious treat waiting for you in the fridge that will last a whole month. They’re like a gift from your past self to your future self. How’s that for time-travelling self care?
Quick Pickles™ are also great if you’re trying to impress someone. Aside from that good old fashioned mason jar steeze, they are also apparently very trendy.
So, go live your #cottagecore dreams and impress someone with your sexy Quick Pickle™ skills. Or even better — go impress yourself. There’s nothing like a little time traveling self-care in the face of the unknown.