Last week, I went to a cooking class at The Hutong, to get an introduction to the East Asian approach to pickle making.
This is the result of my labours: jars of Szechuan-style pickled vegetables (three kinds of radish and a smattering of other veggies - string beans, carrots, celery, cabbage, spring onions - flavoured with a generous handful of fresh Szechuan peppercorns and some wickedly hot pre-pickled baby chilli peppers) and batons of daikon radish in a brine suffused with ginger and turmeric and another wickedly hot pepper (a sweet'n'spicy combination, apparently a southern Chinese speciality). And we also made LOTS of Korean-style spicy cabbage - which will probably take me two or three months to eat, and is stinking my fridge out in the meantime. No matter: I love my kimchi.
These two pickle jars are unexpectedly pretty. I'm almost reluctant to empty them. I'm supposed to leave the radishes etc. to steep in their pickling brine for a bit, but they'll be ready for eating soon; and I imagine - pickle nut that I am (something else I can probably attribute to my German grandmother's influence) - that they will disappear very quickly.
[Well, except that I am perturbed by all the air bubbles collecting on top of the Szechuan vegetables. I suspect this is evidence of some unwanted fermentation going on, which might well have spoiled them. Bother!]