I have a long-time friend who’s said since she met His Royal Plaidshirtness (HRP) that he’s one of only 5 good guys in the galaxy and that if I ever leave him, she will personally take me apart. I agree he’s one of the good guys, and I happily think back to 24 years ago at this moment when oldest daughter Joanna and I were on our way to Divajade to get our hairs done for the 1 p.m. wedding whoopdedo up here in the pasture.
At the same time, or near’bouts, daughter Alexandra was headed for a shower in HRP’s grandparents’ pink shingled house where she spent the night and discovered just how many praying mantis nymphs hatch from one egg case (up to 400, evidently).
I don’t agree with the 5 good guys part, though. Projecting myself back into yesterday’s choir loft I see many more than 5 men who are grownups, who are funny, sexy, committed to their relationships and hard at work at something, be it a job, a father-daughter dance, babysitting for grandchildren or cheering a daughter-in-law’s flute solo.
HRP is the right guy for me who will always (damn his eyes!) call me on my delusional thinking, but there are plenty of others “out there,” including the loving, longtime husband of my friend Dannye, who hosted a real ladies’ lunch for us old newsroom gals last week. I know for sure Lew made the good coffee, and I’m guessing he helped with a few other things as well. The house and yard and table were completely Southern Living-perfect, and Dannye taught us how to make good deviled eggs without mayonnaise (hummus, yellow French’s mustard and a few drops of Tabasco).
All of us ate the pickled beets, but I alone braved the pickled eggs. I’m a Pennsylvania Dutch girl, and pickled eggs are just a colorful part of that. I’ve eaten some from a sketchy-looking gallon jar on a bar, but mostly I’ve made my own by peeling hard-boiled eggs and letting them take it easy for a few days in a non-reactive container (glass or stainless steel) of pickling beets.
I use the easy-breezy-lemon-squeezy pickled beets directions from the always reliable 1987 Fearrington House Cookbook: A Celebration of Food, Flowers and Herbs (Jenny Fitch, Ventana Press, Inc.). The older my taste buds become, the more I find I enjoy a small, piquant taste of pickle with many meals.
Pickled beets (and eggs)
1-1/2 pounds fresh beets, cooked, trimmed, peeled and cut into wedges
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
2 whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon pickling spices, tied with cook’s twine in cheesecloth
Combine water, vinegar, sugar and cloves and bring to boil. Add pickling spice packet and stir until sugar dissolves. Pour over beets. Add hard-boiled eggs for a little taste adventure and cover the container. Let sit, refrigerated for 2 or 3 days (stirring gently every now and then), but serve pickles at room temperature.