Friday, October 30, 2015

A Homemade Life: Spicy Pickled Carrots with Garlic and Thyme

One more day till Halloween!  And I still feel woefully behind.  Thatboy and I have big plans to carve pumpkins tonight, possibly the latest we have ever carved pumpkins!  But there just hasn't been time between birthday parties, trial, my mother-in-law visiting, adventures in Legoland and Seaworld.  It has been quite the busy month!

Pumpkins aside, we have been doing quite a bit of Halloween activities.  Including listening to Halloween music in the car, and watrhing a Halloween movie every night. We have fully indoctrinated Thatkid into loving the holiday as much as we do.  Perhaps moreso, since he's the one getting the candy, 

And of course, we've been to the pumpkin patch not once, but twice this year!  BA had his birthday party at the pumpkin patch again this year, which is always so much fun for the kids.

 I do love the fact that although we try to get together during the rest of the year, during October these kids see each other almost every week.  And it's always like they were never parted.

The pumpkin patch we go to for pumpkins is very traditional, and we love that about it.  But this patch is all about fun and games.  Thatkid had his first attempt at a carnival game!  And he did pretty well!

And there was plenty of room for these guys to run around trying to kill each other with inflatable toys.

And lots of rides to ride.  Together.  Which is so much more fun than going on rides with mom and dad.

BA's birthday parties always help us get into the Halloween spirit.  I am so ready for tomorrow!  The weather is even cooperating, as it cooled down yesterday a bit, with grey moody skies that just seem right.  I'm still trying to figure out what we're going to have for dinner, given that I can't remember the last time Halloween fell on a weekend and we weren't scrambling to eat before trick-or-treating.  I always think spicy seems right for a spooky holiday, and that means these carrots may play a starring role in tomorrow night's dinner.  I love pickled vegetables, and carrots have that same crunch that cucmbers get when you pickle them - a very satisfying mouthfeel.  These are also the perfect amount of heat.  You feel the burn, but it dissipates within minutes.  They are totally and completely addictive.  A true "trick" and then "treat."

Spicy Pickled Carrots with Garlic and Thyme (From a Homemade Life)
 2 cups apple cider vinegar, plus more for topping jars
2 cups water, plus more for topping jars
1/4 cup granulated sugar
6 sprigs fresh thyme
5 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tsp black peppercorns, cracked
1 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
Heaping 1 1/2 tsp salt
Heaping 2 tsps brown mustard seeds
1 1/2 lbs small carrots
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar, water, sugar, thyme, garlic, black peppercorns, red pepper flakes, salt, and mustard seeds.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat, and let cool for 5 minutes.  Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup vinegar.
  3. Put the carrots in a large, heatproof bowl, and pour the warm brine over them.  Cool to room temperature.
  4. While the carrots cool, wash 2 quart sized canning jars and their lids in warm soapy water.  When the carrots and brine are cool, distribute the carrots evenly among jars.
  5. Using a ladle, divide the brine evenly among the jars, completely covering the carrots with brine.  Seal and refrigerate for at least 3 days.

Happy Halloween everyone!


  1. I think we got the exact same skeleton costume that ThatBaby is wearing, and my older son also was a skeleton just like ThatKid! How funny!

    Your boys look ADORABLE.

  2. Spicy is perfect for a spooky holiday weekend.