Mmm… you want steak

The local grocery had these flat iron steaks on sale the other day so I grabbed a couple.  They are not a new cut of beef, exactly, but over the last few years they have managed to gain the attention of foodies.  I wasn’t sure quite how to fix it so I fell back on the old faithful method of rubbing in cracked black peppercorns and then grilling for 5 or 6 minutes per side.  Seemed to work just fine, tasted good and was pretty tender.

I’ve mentioned before that Mrs J sews pet beds and such like and donates them to the shelter where she volunteers.  She has help – Homer supervises her closely.No, he isn’t napping on the job!  He is just squinting to see better.  Bitsy is the product tester.  She is very rigorous and attentive to detail.Note the “tomato” pin cushion in the plastic box behind her.  Bitsy is quite fond of pulling the pins and hiding them about.  Good thing it isn’t a grenade!

Mmm…jalapeno pickles

I ventured out to the patio for long enough to pick some jalapenos from the two container plants out there.  Several had turned red, which was what I was waiting for.  I would have waited a bit longer but one of the first to turn was getting a tad soft so I went ahead and pulled them all, plus enough green ones to make a batch.

These are going to be “refrigerator pickles” in that I didn’t do a boiling  water bath.  I did sterilize the lids and jars, and boiled the brine-tried to keep everything a safe as I could.  All the jars actually sealed, and they may well keep on the shelf at room temperature but why take chances.

The brine is just a basic mix, nothing too fancy.  Today I used 3 cups white vinegar, 3 cups water, 3 T pickling salt, 3 T cane sugar, 3 t black peppercorns, and a couple of bay leaves.  Bring it all to a boil and then keep at a simmer until all the jars are topped off.  I tossed a peeled clove of garlic into each jar, along with some onion pieces, and some carrots chopped into chunks.  There was enough brine for four pints of pickles with a bit left over.  These will get better as they age, a few weeks at a  minimum I should think, better a month or more.