Sunday, June 10, 2012

Quick Pickles and a Tour of My Place!

Hi, everyone!

I think I've finally gotten myself completely settled into my new apartment. It took me almost a month, but I guess sometimes that's how long it takes!

My place is a little 600 square feet den in the basement of a log cabin. I have windows in my bedroom (so that birds can wake me up at 5:00 am... but I love it!), so it's still nice and light inside there. I love the fact that it's "earth-sheltered" because the temperature stays fairly consistent and because I feel all safe. I have a horrible fear of storms/tornadoes and even now, as an adult, when I'm back home and I see the clouds start to darken I start to freak out. So long story short, that's why I picked a graduate school that was NOT in the Midwest (also because I'm a plant biologist and I'm not interested in studying corn or soybeans). And, when I was looking for an apartment and I found this cute little nook, I knew I had to live here. It's got an open kitchen/dining room, a bedroom, and a bathroom.

As you can see, it kind of looks like a log cabin on the inside. Lots of pine woodwork and trim. I'm also cooking with gas now. I love cooking with my gas stove, lol. The other side is just my comfy chaise that I sit in and a small tv. Oh, and I think maybe you noticed that I have a new member of my family?

This is Zoe (or Zoey). She's a four-year-old-ish lab mix. A friend of my also got accepted into grad school, but he was gonna be moving into a large apartment complex in Houston. He made the painful decision to hand her over to me so that she could be happy. You know, so she could run around on the farm all day and play with the other dogs here, rather being cramped up in a small apartment all day. She loves it here. I don't even need to put her on a leash. She just runs around and comes inside when I call her.

I normally wouldn't care too much about showing y'all my bathroom, but I have to because I have the most awesome shower curtain ever. It was sold out for ever, so I was put on a waiting list for this biatch but I eventually got one. Best $30 I ever spent!!

I got it at Plasticland ( Pretty much everything they have there is like it was made for me, and don't even get me started on those clothes or those shoes!!

Then finally, we have the bedroom. I was gonna do blue and brown, but my bed and dresser turned out to be super dark, and I didn't want to buy new blankets, so I went with purple and dark brown.

So there you have it! My apartment. It's nice and quiet. I don't have noisy neighbors, or busy streets, or anything to distract me from my studies. Heck, I don't even have a roommate to distract me (thank goodness!). I hope to stay here for a long time, and I definitely wouldn't mind staying here the entire duration of my grad school career.

Anyway, enough about me! I promised y'all a recipe in my last post and I'm here to deliver! I'm going to a cookout today and I'm bringing along my Poppy Seed Coleslaw and these Quick Pickles. That coleslaw recipe is better than before since I finally got around to updating it. I used Reduced-Fat Veganaise, but regular or another brand is okey dokey too.

These pickles are super easy to make and stay good in your fridge for two weeks. They're crispy and crunchy and just tasty. You'll be surprised at how fresh they taste when you make them! And just a word of note, I sterilize my jars before I make anything like this. I do that by boiling a canning jar and the lid for 10 minutes. I'm a little paranoid, I suppose, but it's not necessary because of the vinegar. Another bonus: homemade pickles like this have less sodium than jarred ones.

Quick Refrigerator Pickles:
1 med. sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 medium English cucumber, thinly sliced (the long skinny ones with edible peel)
1 c. rice vinegar
2 Tb. sugar (whatever kind you like, just not something with too much flavor)
2 bay leaves
1  1/4 tsp. brown mustard seeds
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1. Place onion and cucumber into a heat-proof nonreactive bowl. Glass pyrex is best. Set aside.

2. Bring vinegar, sugar, bay leaves, mustard seeds, salt, and 1/2 cup of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes.

3. Pour over onion and cucumber. Cover loosely with a clean towl and let cool completely. Make sure you stir occasionally to submerge the vegetables. Once cool place in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.

This recipe doesn't make a whole lot, but I'd definitely say a large Mason jar full (though that depends on the size of your onion and cucumber! If you like pickles (and especially the bread and butter kind) you will definitely like these. Also, it's kind of fun to say you made your own. Have a great evening!


Amber Shea @Almost Vegan said...

Looks like a cute little place! Very cozy :)

Jess of Midwest Vegan said...

Thanks! :)

VeganLinda said...

Nice digs! I love the idea of living in a log cabin. My eldest (12) son is right there with you on storms and the Midwest. He is setting his sights on moving someplace with the fewest tornadoes when he gets older.

GreenCaller said...

Wow, Jesse, I'm uber-jealous of your new place! ^.^ Very, very nice. Hope you're settling in okay and everything's going well and whatnot. We've got a new, more energy-efficient vehicle now, sooooo visiting may actually be a reality... If you want.

My phone's shot... again... so shoot me an email sometime soon if you can. We'll be at my folk's place for the next few days. I'm so sad We didn't get into town in time to see you off. Miss you, lady. Peace.