Have you seen ‘Merry Christmas, Mr. Bean’? I love Mr. Bean. If I weren’t married to the suave and debonair Evil Genius I might have a crush on Mr. Bean. I’m just that kind of dork. And one of my favorite Mr. Bean lines ever comes from this , my favorite, episode. Can someone please explain to me why it’s so darned funny when Bean says”Christmas socks.” Is there any reason why it should double me over in laughter?
Val and I haven’t forgotten our promise to provide a new homemade gift idea for each day leading up to Christmas. In between Val preparing mass mailings for the camp, me ferrying kids to and fro, and all the other tap dancing that comes this time of year, we’ve been busy cooking our bums off. Actually, the reality is more that we’re cooking our bums bigger. If we could ‘cook them off’ we’d be in serious business and the world would beat a path to our doors. As it is, we’ll be content if everyone puts on a ‘winter coat’ of padding along with us. But we digress…
What we mean to say is that while we’ve had a couple of days interlude between the last recipe and this one, we’ll make up for it. If you approach this like a politician we’re not in a recipe deficit at all. We’ll just back load our recipes and call it even, eh? After today’s we owe you 10 more recipes. And unlike politicians, we’ll deliver!
Price Breakdown: (rounding up)
$4.00 2 jars, 32 ounces each, hamburger dill slices
$1.00 4 cups white sugar from a 5 pound bag
$0.10 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
$0.25 2 Tablespoons Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
$0.50 3 large cloves of garlic from a head of garlic bought in the produce section
$5.85 Grand Total for 3 pints of Christmas Fire and Ice Pickles or $1.95 per pint.
Christmas Fire and Ice Christmas Pickles: Foodie Gift #14
A jar of these come dressed for Christmas with the crushed red pepper flakes among the green pickle slices. This sweet and slightly hot pickle is fantastic on roast meat, cold cut or meatloaf sandwiches. It also complements corned beef beautifully. Unless you live in Amish country you’re not likely to be able to find these in the stores very easily. A jar of these pickles makes a wonderfully unique and tasty gift. Be prepared to share the recipe!
The fact that the recipe is super simple to make -starting with store bought pickles- and don’t require boiling water or pressure canning adds to its charms.
For best results, prepare these at least one week -but preferably two- prior to serving and allow them to age in the refrigerator. You may need to keep a stick handy to beat people away from them while the pickles age. They will keep up to 8 weeks after aging in a tightly closed jar in the refrigerator.
Yield: 3 pints
- 2 jars, 32 oz. each, hamburger dill slices or dill pickle spears
- 4 cups sugar
- 1-2 Tablespoons hot sauce (We use Frank’s Red Hot in this)
- 1/4-1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
- 3 large cloves, or 6 small cloves, garlic, lightly smashed and peeled
Pour pickles into a colander over the sink. Allow to drain briefly.
Add pickles, sugar, crushed pepper flakes, and hot sauce to a large mixing bowl.
Mix gently until everything is evenly distributed.
When it looks like this you’re done mixing.
Cover tightly and allow to rest at room temperature for four hours, stirring every so often. After four hours, evenly divide the garlic cloves between three impeccably clean pint jars. Spoon the pickles into the jars and pour the liquid over the pickles to within 1/4″ of the lid. Screw lids in place tightly and allow to rest in the fridge for at least one week -but preferably closer to two weeks- prior to serving.
And what do these pickles have to do with Mr. Bean? Nothing more than both of them make us feel all Christmasy inside. Make some Christmas pickles and watch some Mr. Bean and put on your Christmas socks. Merry Christmas.