My father loves pickled eggs with beets. He has enjoyed them my whole life, and I have seen his eyes light up on many occasions when he was presented with a jar. So once I secured permission from my mother (apparently his current diet restrictions are for sugar, not cholesterol), I prepared a jar just for him at Thanksgiving.
Unfortunately, I have also observed my father storing his prized pickled eggs on top of the piano for months and months, not in the refrigerator. I have never encountered any recipe that states that they are shelf stable after opening, so I decided to take measures. To help protect my father's health (and quite frankly my reputation as a cook), I increased the amount of vinegar in the recipe. In fact, I doubled it. That particular batch had a 1/1 ratio of water and vinegar, which should help slow down bacteria growth. I also put the jar in my parents' refrigerator myself, rather than presenting the jar and giving him a choice of where to store it. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner, as always, and returned to our respective homes.
About a week later, I received a nearly unprecedented phone call. My father was not calling to give me some family news, but instead to tell me that he had just enjoyed the best pickled egg he had ever tasted! After what I estimate to probably be about 50 years of pickled egg tasting experience, I can safely consider him a connoisseur. Therefore, I am permanently altering my recipe to the 1/1 water/vinegar ratio that pleased my father so much.
|Christmas Pickled Eggs |
(Left: Beets & Right: Italian with Green Dye Added)