This past weekend the East Coast was hit by its first major winter storm of the year. In the U.S., this type of extreme weather event is always accompanied by a particularly American ritual: constant news coverage featuring increasingly hysterical weathermen, bizarre nicknames with apocalyptic overtones (snowmageddon, snowzilla, frankenstorm), runs on grocery stores. This time around Boston was mostly spared—in stark contrast to last year—and I was very fortunate not to have my travel plans for returning to campus disrupted (though I did have the pleasure of flying over the storm on my way back from Charleston). My friends in New York and DC were not so lucky, and as far as I know they're still digging out.
I always see snow days as a great excuse to undertake some kind of kitchen project—what better use of your time when you’re stuck indoors? In such instances I am particularly fond of canning, maybe because it evokes childhood memories of the pantry at my grandparents’ old house in Poland, which was perpetually filled with jars of jams and compotes and marinated vegetables.
This particular recipe was introduced to me by Emily when she came to visit way back when in 2013 with not only a toddler but a couple dozen pounds of produce from her Upstate New York CSA in tow. I put it to good use when I was snowed in a couple of weeks later, and I’ve been making it regularly ever since, even in the absence of extreme weather.
Pickled daikon radish
makes enough to fill a one-quart mason jar
2 cups water
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp sugar
¼ tsp red pepper
1 tsp cumin
2 bay leaves
3 dried red peppers
3 garlic cloves
1 medium daikon radish (about 8")
Peel daikon and slice thinly.
Combine water, salt, sugar, peeled garlic cloves, and spices. Bring to a boil and cook until salt and sugar have dissolved. Remove from heat and add vinegar.
Arrange daikon in prepared jar. Cover with hot brine and seal jar tightly. Keep refrigerated, and allow at least one day to cure.