Friday, November 06, 2015

A Homemade Life: Pickled Grapes with Cinnamon and Black Pepper

Saturday marked one of my favorite days of the year - Halloween!  And it;s so nice to have the holiday fall on a weekend.  We had a leisurely, relaxing day leading up to the main event, instead of trying to rush home from work and eat and change into costumes.

We got our Halloween decorations up the weekend before.

But Saturday found me finishing the last off our pumpkins. (I told you I was behind this year!)

We got our first trick-or-treaters right before 6pm, so we all hurried to get dressed and ready, and get the night started!

After a number of different costume choices, Thatkid finally decided on Ironman earlier this month.  We decided to go off of his idea and wear costumes that stuck with this theme.

I thought it would be fun for Thatboy to dress as Nick Fury, and he loved the idea.  But then he couldn't get his bald cap to work so well, and he forgot his eye patch.  Personally, I think he looks like Daddy Warbucks.

As for Thatbaby and I, Thatkid thought he should be Ironman also, but I took it a different direction.  Since costumes are hard for babies, I figured a simple onesie would be easiest, and dressed him as Iron Man's alter ego - Tony Stark.  Since I'd be "assisting" him all night, I went as Stark's assistant, Pepper Potts.

Thatkid has trick or treating DOWN this year.  It warmed my heart to hear him tell every house "Happy Halloween" following his "thank you" after his receipt of candy.

We don't have a ton of houses who participate in trick or treating in my neighborhood - I think due to too many years of inactivity on the part of trick or treaters.  In fact, we saw twice as many other trick-or-treaters this year as opposed to last year, so I think it's starting to pick up.  Which means the houses that do hand out candy are very, very, generous.  Full sized candy bars and the request for Thatkid to take multiple handfuls of candy.

His bucket was filled to the brim!

I'm very meh about candy this year.  Which is odd, since nursing usually gives me a sweet tooth.  And in a way I do have a sweet tooth, it's just not geared toward chocolate.  I'm having major fruit cravings as of late.  Which is a shame since this is a terrible time for most fruits.  With the exception of apples, pears, and grapes.  And of the three, grapes are my vice of choice since they're the sweetest.  I love them plain, I love them frozen, and this recipe for pickled grapes is a very interesting alternative.  I was hesitant about trying it, but these suckers are addictive.  They have that easy  quality that all grapes have, where you just throw one after another in your mouth.  And they combine sweetness, spice, and sour vinegar.  I'm always a fan of complementary flavors, so that mix works for me!

Pickled Grapes with Cinnamon and Black Pepper (From A Homemade Life)
1lb seedless grapes
1 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp brown mustard seeds
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp salt

  1. Rinse and dry the grapes, and pull them carefully from their stems.  Using a small, sharp knife, trim away the "belly button" at the stem end of the grape, exposing a bit of the flesh inside.  Put the grapes into a medium bowl and set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then pour the mixture over the grapes.  Stir to combine.  Set aside to cool to room temperature.
  3. While the grapes cool, wash 2 pint sized canning jars and their lids in warm soapy water.  When the grapes are cool, ladle them into the jars.  Chill for at least 8 hours or overnight.  Serve cold.


  1. Oh my gosh, you all looked so adorable!! (Especially ThatBaby).

    How do you eat these grapes? are they part of a cheese board - or do you just grab them and eat them at will?

  2. That baby looks so funny and adorable! I see you had a lot of fun and the kids too! Great pickled grapes!

  3. I am so intrigued with this recipe. I've never had grapes like this -- looks good! Also, I love Halloween too ... and isn't it awesome when kids really start to "get" trick or treating?

  4. Halloween is a special time of year for little kids. They have so much fun. Parents do too!

    The grapes look yum! What an interesting mix of flavors.