Sour: Pickled Sour Cherries

Thursday, July 30, 2015

-Life is like a bowl of pickled cherries: sour and sweet.-

I am a sour person. Not to mean that I'm unpleasant, but that I love sour foods. I'll go Granny Smith over Pink Lady any day, thank you.

It's odd... As a child, I hated sour foods. Sour candy, in particular. If you were a child of the 90's then you are no doubt familiar with one specific popular sour candy of the time: Warheads.

On the playground we would eat them in bulk as a sort of schoolyard dare, all of us fueled by the urban myth - which turned out to be true - of the kid who burned his tongue in the Warhead Challenge. (The challenge being to hold this sour candy under your tongue for 30 seconds.)

Also by "we," I mean, "everyone else." I was a wuss at sour foods as a kid, a sad fact that didn't help alleviate my persona as social pariah and teacher's son.

Today, I can power through theses candies like, well, candy.

It's also therefore no surprise that I often make pickles - sour foods at their best. Even more so when I pickle sour cherries.

Pickled sour cherries are a curious condiment. The vinegar actually tames the natural pucker of the cherries. After a month of curing they mellow, sweeten, and absorb the flavor of the pickling spices. The result is a sweet, sour, floral, and fruity pickle that it best served with bourbon.

Only one farmer in Sacramento grows them and they're only around fort a short time. This year I was quick on the draw and picked up enough to make a batch so that come fall when my bourbon habit picks back up I'll be ready.

For the recipe, go here.

Bad Decisions: Five Spice Coconut Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Friday, July 10, 2015

-A perfectly good way to torture yourself on a sweltering day.-

For the most part we actively decide against making bad decisions. We're taught to do so by both society and our own experiences.

-That pan is hot. Don't touch it.

-Use a condom.   

-Fireworks are explosive. Best not to launch one off of my head.

-Perhaps now is not a good time to take a scenic tour of Somalia.

-This cheese is fuzzy and green. Don't eat it.

-I shouldn't spend my rent money on a Playstation 4.

Then again, sometimes we make decisions regardless of the fact that they might be unwise. Perhaps the ill-nature of the consequences or the very disregard for the situation itself is part of the joy in making the bad decisions.

-I'm going to totally mix tequila and rum tonight. Also vodka. This will be terrible tomorrow and I acknowledge that, but tonight we gettin' crunk.

-I hate her. Time to donk up her shit.

-Texting and driving.

-I'm pretty sure I can still pull off this puka shell necklace I wore in the 90's and not get ridiculed for it.

-Pointing the cat's laser pointer at my husband's crotch will result in a hilarious outcome that will totally not include his genitals being turned to ribbon.

-I should turn the oven to 350F and bake cookies, even though it's 105 out today.

This last one got me recently. I had the AC roaring and I was sucking down glasses of iced tea like I was going to win a prize. However, I really wanted cookies, so it was gonna happen.

In the end? Worth it. So worth it. Chinese five spice is a secret weapon in baking and let me tell you that it belongs in a cookie.

So go. Make your delicious bad decisions. 

 Five Spice Coconut Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Adapted from the Vanishing Oatmeal Cookie Recipe from Quaker

1/2 cup, plus 6 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon Chinese five spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup shredded coconut

Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Add oats and raisins; mix well. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.

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