Archive | March, 2009

Easter Eggs Of Another Color

31 Mar

Well, it’s that time of year again, time to dust off my most popular post of all time.  Apparently I’m not the only pickled egg fanatic out there…

Pennsylvania Dutch Pickled Red Beet Eggs

It’s that time of year when the hearts of children, and yes, grown men and women the world over, sing with glee and hope.  It’s time to bite the ears off a chocolate rabbit.  Or snarf down multiple bags of Cadbury’s Mini Eggs.

And while I am human, and I do get a weird thrill out of chomping on dopey, oddly vacant bunnies in dark, milk and white chocolate varieties, the thing that really makes my heart go pitter-pat as we approach the Easter season is, of course, pickles.

And I know I am not alone.

Over the past two weeks, I have been getting hundreds of hits a day from people looking for a pickled red beet egg recipe.

Pennsylvania Dutch Pickled Red Beet Eggs

Don't they look a bit like a sunset?

So, pickled egg lovers of the world unite! Here is what you’re looking for:

Pennsylvania Dutch Pickled Hard Boiled Eggs And Red Beets (aka, pickled red beet eggs)

  • 1 can small, whole red beets¹
  • 1/3 c. brown sugar
  • 1 c. cider vinegar
  • 1 c. cold water
  • 3 or 4 whole cloves
  • small pieces of cinnamon
  • 1 doz. hard boiled eggs

Put all together in a pan and simmer for 10 minutes.
Peel eggs and add to liquid and beets.
Put all in a jar or container and cover.
Allow to pickle for about 2 days before using (aka,EATING!)

This recipe first appeared in the Pitcher Hill Church’s Ladies Cook Book.

It’s my grandmother’s recipe, or maybe even her mother’s, or her mother’s mother’s. We’re not 100% sure.  What I can guarantee is that these are delicious. Make them and eat them in good health.


¹ Last year someone asked, a little snidely in my opinion, why the recipe didn’t use fresh beets.  My answer to this is: Because it is my grandmother’s recipe, and this is how I’ve always eaten these eggs, and so it’s how I’ll always make them.  Also, this is an old recipe, from a time when canned beets were probably considered a luxury.  If anyone has ever tried making these with fresh beets, I would love to hear about your experience. Please leave a comment.


22 Mar

So sorry to keep you waiting.

It’s happening to me, too.  I’m just waiting for Spring to pop.  And for our little mini-vacation next weekend, (we’re going to Bermuda, yay!).  Waiting for the pear blossoms I’m forcing inside to bloom, for root vegetables to be displaced at the market and for a time when I can stop filling the bird feeders.  And right now I’m waiting for my mom to come over, so we can take her out for lunch.  And then it’ll be back to waiting again.

At least it’s active waiting.  Yesterday I turned over the compost pile.  Last weekend I drew up a plan for the beds I want to make in the old garden.  Today I’m hoping to draw up plans for the new garden (I’m thinking of turning one bed over entirely to squashes and melons and the other to nitrogen-fixing and super-tasty beans).

There are a few signs of things to come.  There’s a little patch of snowdrops, and two tiny, brave yellow crocuses sticking their heads out of the dirt (my mom says the yellow ones are always first).  And there are the promises of flowers everywhere; on the trees, on the bushes, in the ground.  But still we wait.

Last week I was feeling itchy, I wanted to see signs of spring in the city.  So I walked across Central Park to the eastside.  I could hear spring.  The birds were in full courtship mode, but there were very few flowers.

Click here for more, if you have the patience.


12 Mar

I have very nearly run out of words this week.

The old IRT power station.  It supplied power for New Yorks first subway.

The old IRT power station. It supplied power for New York's first subway.

The beautiful, enormous building was designed by McKim, Mead & White.

The beautiful, enormous building was designed by McKim, Mead & White.

I’m also all out of big thoughts, the ability to punctuate and good questions.  You see, for more than a week now, I’ve been filling in for one of the editors at work who has been out of the office.  I have slain many hackneyed phrases, deleted dozens of superfluous adverbs and thought very, very hard about the future of sports, the crisis on Wall Street and the new regulatory landscape in D.C., all on top of my regular job.

12th Avenue street art. This whole building was covered with it.

12th Avenue street art. This whole building was covered with it.

Head below the jump for a whole lot more photos and just a few more words.

Clip Clop

8 Mar

NYPD Mounted Police Stable, Tribeca

New York City used to be a horse town.

People used to ride down Broadway. Buses used to be pulled by draft horses. Rather than streets full of yellow taxis there were streets full of neighing, pooping, kicking horses.

I wish I had seen those days.

The only remnant of the golden days of equine New York is the NYPD Mounted Unit. When I hear the clipclop of a police horse, my heart skips a beat and I get a little giddy. I turn into a 6 year old, I want to pet the horse!

NYPD Mounted Police Stable, Tribeca

Recently I was bumming around Tribeca when a very familiar smell hit my nose. Manure. Then I looked around and noticed all the trailers, and then I saw a mounted policeman. I asked if there was a stable around and he gestured down the street. Right there, opening up onto Washington Street, was a barn.

I could hear small rustlings, low whinnies, and see an occasional tail flick, but these are working animals and kept at a safe distance from over-enthusiastic ex-equestriennes like myself.

Not ready to join the NYPD? Then why not think about joining the New York Parks Enforcement Auxiliary Mounted Unit? You can patrol some of the city’s most beautiful parks and help lost kids find their parents and do a good thing for your city!


5 Mar

The land around our house (which also happens to be near where I grew up) is shrouded in legend.

There are famous legends, like the Legend of Sleepy Hollow, with it’s headless horseman and hapless teacher.  And then there’s the legend of the school named for that teacher, which always manages to close for a snow day regardless of only a few flakes having fallen from the sky.

Then there’s the legend of that great adventurer Henry Hudson, and the naming of a little town, Kinderhook, for its wealth of little children.  The town is also, according to legend, the source of one of the world’s favorite terms, O.K. It either has something to do with apples, or with the eighth president of the United States, Martin van Buren.

Speaking of old MvB, according to my mom, who had a friend (or possibly a friend of a friend) who lived in his house before it became a national park, there was a legend that, every year on his death day and on his birthday, the legs of the bed in which he died would fly off at high speed.  Apparently she had to stop using the bed for this reason.  Personally, I would have stopped using any bed made prior to 1862 for reasons other than that, mainly involving comfort.

Also in the realm of the spiritual world, there was the legend of the ghost that haunted my friend Alison’s house.  It was a very quirky ghost, taking vengeance on those in her very large family who were bad, and bestowing gifts upon those who were good, like my friend and her favorite brother and sister.  One year it even gave her a Christmas present; wrapped up in a very grubby old box, tied up with grubby old string was a beautiful, very old Dutch coin.

Don’t believe in ghosts? What about mobsters? Click here for some legends of the underworld.