Usually, when I ask my parents waht they want for Christmas, they always say “hmm, nothing really.” It’s so difficult to go shopping for them. Usually my brother and I buy bog-standard gifts for them. For my mum we’ll get anything with white chocolate, kitchenware of perhaps some really nice socks or music. And for dad, we’ll buy tennis or golf balls, a sports shirt or some shorts and a CD full of music we’ve downloaded for him.
But to buy something special, well, that’s difficult. I remember once we were going to buy our parents…
I also bought them home a nice bottle of wine from Italy when I went back in 2009, and I don’t think it’s even been touched yet. And my boyfriend was extremely sweet last Christmas and was determined to buy my parents something. He really tried to ask me what they would like or the sort of things they’re into, but I really couldn’t answer him. I think he got the idea that I was just being awkward, but I really wasn’t. He ended up with the idea of buying them a nice kettle, as the kettle they had recently had broken, and so they whipped out the white, plastic, cheap-looking kettle I had suring my first year at uni. So that was a really good idea! In fact, I was going to buy them a kettle for my mum’s birthday (wow, a kettle as a birthday gift!), but I forgot the reason why I didn’t. So anyway, it was set, my boyfriend could buy them a new kettle as he was adamant to get them something! But it turns out that they were just waiting until mum’s new kitchen was fitted in before they wanted to whip out the new stainless steel one they already have.
So my boyfriend was back to square one. He ended up buying some really lovely gifts, which he really shouldn’t have. But as I said, it’s hard shopping for parents. I always feel guilty during Christmas times when people say “What are you buying your parents?” and I genuinely can’t answer. I feel like such a bad daughter. Seriously, can anyone else relate to my dilemma?
So, in a bid to do something nice, I thought I’d pickle some eggs for my dad! The reason for this is because a) he likes pickled stuff, like onions, egg, olives and anything else saturated in vinegar, and b) it’s a unique gift idea, and a new experience we can all share an enjoy.
I first pickled these at the beginning November of last year, and we tried them on Christmas Eve. He was very surprised with them, and said that they were lovely! I was even surprised with that, as they were a little too sweet for my liking, although still very enjoyable. I wouldn’t have put my dad as liking his pickles too sweet. But that’s a preference thing and next time I may not even use sugar. But the eggs were lovely and purple throughout! Beautiful.
I’d love to try these again and serve them as deviled eggs!
Pickled Beet Eggs
Source: Jules Food
To pickle 8-10 eggs
• 8-10 eggs, hard-boiled (method below)
• 500g jar of pickled beetroot
• 1 ¾ cups (315ml) white vinegar
• 1 cup caster sugar
• 1 ½ tbsp allspice or ground mixed spices
• 1 x cinnamon stick
• airtight jar (big enough to fit the eggs)
Boiling the eggs, source: here
Pop the eggs in a saucepan and put in enough cold water to just cover them. Then put them on high heat, and once the water starts to boil, set the timer to 3 minutes, and continue to boil the water.
When 3 minutes are up, take the eggs off of the heat and pop a lid on the saucepan and set the timer to 8 minutes.
When the 8 minutes are up, run cold water over the eggs for about a minute, and leave them to stand for a while to cool down.
Your eggs are now ready! They’ll peel better if you pop them in the fridge for a while though.
Pickling the eggs
Drain the jar of beets, but make sure you keep the juice. We don’t need to beets, just the juice.
In a large enough saucepan, add the beet juice along with the vinegar, sugar and mixed spice. Split the cinnamon stick in half and add that, too.
Bring it to a boil and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Then simmer for 5 minutes.
Pop the peeled hard-boiled eggs into a jar (or in my case, I popped four eggs each in two rather large jars). The pour the hot mixture all of the eggs (including the cinnamon sticks). Leave to cool for around an hour or two.
Close with an air-tight fitting lid and store in the fridge to let the flavours blend and combine, and penetrate the eggs. You can do this for several days, or several weeks. But once they’re opened, keep them in the fridge and use within 7 days.