Hi Slice of Lifers, Darlene here, resident blogger for the Slice of Life Team! I’ve been going through a move and sometimes there is absolutely no time for making dinner, and barely any time to pick up take out. I experienced this during the last week while I picked up and moved with my fiancé to a new city that is over two hours away from our old house. The move took three days to complete, and we are still dealing with unpacking, changing addresses and all those little endless tasks that come with moving. Dinner was a question that usually went unanswered, or at least a low priority.
I did, however, have a stroke of genius for a meal while we were working on packing up and moving out of the old house. We had planted a bunch of green onions the previous spring and they needed to be dealt with. Do we pull them out? Leave them here? Would the new home owners even see them or use them? Finally, I decided to pull them out and use them. Luckily the next day there was also a farmer’s market happening, and “snack dinner” was born. I made a quick pickle with the green onions and then just picked up some good local bread, cheese from Willamette Valley Cheese Company (we are now living in Central Oregon, so I had to grab some of their cheese while I still could!) and some amazingly sweet local strawberries.
While the onions do their thing in the pickling liquid, it’s easy enough to slice up some bread, unwrap the cheese, rinse off the berries and throw everything on our large cutting board. As we work on packing, making endless trips around the old house, looking for more bubble wrap, or wondering where I set down the packing tape (again), we crisscross in the kitchen, stop at the cutting board, and take another bite of cheese (the brie was gone in about 2 seconds, and the cumin gouda is wonderful with this recipe too) and pickled onion. During your busy days or weeks, try a snacking dinner! Add in a sliced salami or some smoked salmon, or perhaps a couple of sugar snap peas or baby carrots for variety. Don’t forget about jarred olives or even some roasted red peppers, both of which can be kept on hand and pulled out in this useful situation.
Eating well doesn’t have to take a lot of time, just a moment of consideration and resourcefulness. Be sure to check out your local farmers market and stop by — you’ll find the freshest produce and support your neighboring farmers! If you are on the Oregon Coast, check out the Newport Farmers Market is at Newportfarmersmarket.org. The Newport Market is Saturdays from 9 to 1 at Highway 101 and Lee Street in Newport, Oregon thru October and it’s the second oldest farmers market in the state, started in 1978. To find a farmers market near you, check out The Local Farm Markets page at http://www.localfarmmarkets.org/.
Enjoy this simple dinner when it’s warm out too! No cooking required.
- 1 pound green onions, sliced
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 1/2 cups cider vinegar
- 8 fresh bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
- 1/8 – 1/4 crushed red pepper flakes
- Slice the onions and pack into two pint-sized jars or one quart jar.
- In a small pot over medium heat add the vinegar, bay leaves, peppercorns, fennel, red pepper flakes, salt and sugar. Stir and heat until the sugar has completely dissolved. Pour evenly over the onions and let stand 20 minutes, turning occasionally. Serve or cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Onions will last stored in the fridge up to two months.