Monday, 4 June 2012
Patriotic pickled eggs
I think I've come to the conclusion that I couldn't give a tiny rat's arse about the Jubilee. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a massive republican - I am perfectly happy for 2p of my income tax to go on keeping Prince Harry in inappropriate fancy dress costumes each year - but this whole thing is a bit cringey, isn't it? Obviously I'll take the mega bank holiday, Queenie, but do you think you could ask everyone to be a bit less vomit-inducingly twee perhaps? I've had it up to here (around eyebrow height) with tea cups, cucumber sandwiches and god damn fucking bunting.
I think it's the marketing element which makes me more uncomfortable than anything else. It's like every feasible product, advert or publication has been stamped with a Union Jack; the supermarket shelves subliminally screaming to us that by purchasing the red, white and blue bottle of fairy liquid we're somehow getting one step closer to Pippa Middleton's marvellous buttocks. And whilst we sit on Auntie Geraldine's sofa with an insufficiently alcoholic glass of pimms in one hand and a limp plastic flag in the other, some smarmy American fat cat who owns these brands, is sprawled on a beach in the Costa Del Greedy Bastard, snorting lines of foie gras and raising their seventeenth glass of Krug to old Lizzie.
It is, however, an event which has brought together communities - who, on every other day of the year would barely nod at one another when passing on the street - and that is not something to be sneered at, even by a cynic like me. I just wish we'd do stuff like this without celebrating the old age of someone we've never met or buying the whole event prepackaged by Lakeland Plastics. It would be nice if people came together more often and it all wasn't so disposable. Although saying that, there's been a street party going on down the road all afternoon and we've stayed in and watched a TV series about zombies.
Perhaps I'm just bitter that nobody's invited me to go to a hog roast.
Anyway, if you fancy making something traditionally British yet are sick of the sight of coronation chicken, perhaps try these pickled eggs. Unless you don't like pickled eggs, in which case you might want to make a scone, but I haven't got time to tell you how to do that as I've got more zombie apocalypse to watch. I made these ones for Ben's pub, The Plasterer's Arms (which you should probably go to if you like real ale and live in Norwich). I haven't tried one yet so I should probably include the caveat that they could be rank. Mr Mangrove, as ever, was pretty keen to get involved.
However many eggs you want to do (I did 2 dozen)
However much vinegar (I'd recommend malt or cider) you need to cover said eggs in a jar (I used about a litre)
Spices (optional, but I used black and pink peppercorns and a few dried chillies)
About 1 tsp salt for above quantities
You'll need a sterilised jar, preferably a kilner jar or one which doesn't have any coating on the lid, as this will react with the vinegar.
Hard boil your eggs - about 12 mins - then transfer to a bowl of cold water and peel when they are cooled down. In a pan bring your vinegar to the boil with the spices and then turn off and allow to cool. Once both eggs and vinegar are cool put the eggs in the jar and pour vinegar over. Store for about a month before tucking in.