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pickled eggs

Pickled Eggs

"Noise proves nothing. Often a hen who has merely laid an egg cackles as if she laid an asteroid." Mark Twain

I used to tend bar when I was in college in Gainesville, FL, on the edge of town, and many of my customers were farmers. For snacks with their drinks, it wasn't potato chips or popcorn, it was pickled eggs.

When I moved north I forgot about this tasty snack. Fast forward 40 years. I now belong to a little dinner club, just four couples, and we get together about four times a year to cook an obscene amount of great food on a theme. We rotate hosting the events and over a decade, we've had a barbecue night (of course), Provencal, Irish, Indian, sausage, pizza, and many more, all with appropriate and copious quantities of drink. There are many such groups around the world, and they are a fine way to stretch your cooking skills. It's a great concept and you should start a club like this. It helps if you all live near each other since the festivities can go into the wee hours until the bottles are emptied.

One member, Ellen Miller, served these pickled eggs, stained magenta with beet juice, and they were a huge hit. She got the recipe from a Chesapeake Collection - A Treasury of Recipes and Memorabilia from Maryland's Eastern Shore by the Women's Club of Denton, MD, and published in 1983 by Tidewater Publishers. The link above takes you to recent editions, but I don't know if the recipe here is in them.

Ingredients

1 (16 ounce) can or jar of plain beets

1 cup distilled white vinegar

3/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons kosher salt

1 tablespoon pickling spices

6 hard cooked eggs

1 medium onion thinly sliced and separated into rings

Method

Pour liquid from the beets into a large bowl or jar that won't stain, glass is perfect. Add the vinegar, sugar, and salt. Stir until the sugar and salt dissolve almost completely. Add beets, eggs, onion, and pickling spices. Cover and chill for 2 hours or longer before serving. That's long enough for the beet juice to color the eggs, and penetrate a bit. If you keep them for a day or longer the beet color will penetrate farther until the entire egg turns royal purple. The must be kept in the fridge.

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