Southern Shrimp

Submitted by Christi

I’ve posted so many times about Southern Shrimp.  I can’t begin to tell you how sad I am about the oil spill in the Gulf. I pray for the people who make their livelihood from the Gulf region that this will be resolved soon. I don’t know that much about the Gulf oil platforms. I have friends who are very knowledgeable. I hope they will weigh in on this issue.

As for me, I still love that Gulf seafood!

I just ordered some Gulf shrimp to support the wonderful industry. There is just so much yummy stuff you can do with them. They do have that taste of the ocean about them. What are you doing with shrimp?

And, what are you doing for:

With Designs by Gollum

Today’s Lagniappe:  Shrimp with Lemon and Garlic
A lovely way to enjoy that Gulf Shrimp while you can!

* 2/3 cup olive oil
* 1/2 cup lemon juice
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/8 teaspoon pepper
* 2 pounds fresh shrimp, peeled, deveined
* 3 tablespoons butter
* 1 clove garlic, finely minced
* 1/2 to 1 cup blanched slivered almonds
* dash or two of hot pepper sauce
* 1/2 cup dry vermouth, or use chicken broth and an additional tablespoon of lemon juice
* 1 tablespoon finely chopped green onion tops

Preparation:
In a glass bowl or other nonreactive dish, combine olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Add shrimp and marinate for 1 to 2 hours. Melt butter in large skillet; add minced garlic and shrimp. Reserve marinade. Stir-fry shrimp over medium heat until pink. Discard garlic; remove shrimp to a hot platter. Sauté slivered almonds in butter until brown; add marinade, hot pepper sauce and vermouth. When well blended, pour sauce over shrimp. Sprinkle with finely chopped green onions before serving. Serve with hot cooked rice or pilaf.
Serves 6 to 8.

Southern Table in the Garden

Submitted by Christi

As I have been working today, I have noticed the pink flowers pouring over the fence in the back. It reminds me of when I put in my garden last year as these flowers were blooming. Alas, I am not putting in my regular garden this year. I am gardening in pots. Too much going on right now for the full blown deal.

Last year, as I was putting in the garden, I enjoyed resting near the pretty pink blooms. Here is that time revisited:

Working in the garden can really tire you out. I think I really need a nice place to take a break. This is my tablescape entry this week in Tablescape Thursday hosted by Susan at Between Naps on the Porch. Y’all stay tuned. There are robins building a nest on my porch and I’m taking pics of their progress that I’ll be posting.

A nice place to take a break.

A nice place to take a break.

A little lemonade.

A little lemonade.

A couple of cookies - gotta keep up my strenght!

A couple of cookies - gotta keep up my strength!

A couple of my favorite gardening books.

A couple of my favorite gardening books.

My garden gloves.

My garden gloves.

My garden trowel.

My garden trowel.

Some seeds.

Some seeds.

A watering can with flowers.

A watering can with flowers.

Hey, there's a bunny in my watering can!

Hey, there's a bunny in my watering can!

Everything I need.

Everything I need . . .

for a nice break from gardening!

for a nice break from gardening!

Hope you enjoyed this as much as I did! – Christi

Today’s Lagniappe: Garden Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette
Something light and easy to enjoy.

Use your favorite salad greens and veggies and dress them with this lovely mustard vinaigrette. Easy!

* 1½ cups salad oil
* ½ cup white wine vinegar
* 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
* 1½ tsp Kosher salt
* ½ tsp ground white pepper (or freshly ground black pepper)

1. Combine the mustard and vinegar in a glass or stainless steel bowl and whisk them together briefly.

2. Place the mustard-vinegar mixture along with the oil and seasonings in a blender and mix for about 10 seconds or until fully combined.

3. Serve right away, as the oil and vinegar will begin to separate as soon as you stop mixing.

Makes 1 pint of dressing.

Don’t miss a lot of wonderful tables at:

Tablescape Thursday with Between Naps on the Porch

with Between Naps on the Porch

Southern Blue Heron

Submitted by Christi

Our friend Jim Gaston at Gaston’s White River Resort has been at it again. He runs a wonderful resort, but I think his true talent is photography! If you have never visited, you absolutely should! Check out their Facebook specials right now!

Check out Jim’s great pics of the mighty Blue Heron on the White River:

I just don’t know that it gets any more spectacular than that. Thank you Jim Gaston for your wonderful photography. He has some great subjects, doesn’t he?

Outdoor Wednesday with A Southern Daydreamer

Today’s Lagniappe:  Strawberry Pie

* 2 cups granulated sugar
* 6 tablespoons cornstarch
* 1 package strawberry flavored gelatin, 4-serving size
* 2 cups water
* 4 pints strawberries, hulled
* 2 9-inch baked pie shells, cooled

Preparation:
Cook sugar, cornstarch, jello and water until thick; cool. Place whole berries the baked pie shells. Pour sauce over berries and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
Serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream or whipped topping.

Southern Strawberries

Submitted by Christi

I love strawberries! I decided to try out an idea I had brewing in my brain this past weekend. I took the lemon-thyme cookie dough that I just loved and used it as a crust for individual tart pans.

The dough made a beautifully flaky crust for my tarts with a nice lemony, thyme flavor.

In an effort to keep this figure friendly, I added cool whip free (the one with the South Beach diet approval) and lots (3 or more) of sliced strawberries that had been sweetened with Splenda. I added a little lemon zest on top for color and flavor.

Oh, and by the way, I substituted Splenda in the cookie recipe as well. It was delicious. Think this might be a keeper. Try it and tell me what you think!

Today’s Lagniappe: Lemon Thyme Cookies
I know I have posted this a couple of times before. This time is with my new notes!

* 1/2 cup butter, softened
* 1/4 cup granulated sugar (substitute Splenda)
* 1 tablespoon snipped fresh thyme
* 2 teaspoons finely shredded lemon peel
* 1 tablespoon lemon juice (increase this to 3 tablespoons for a more lemony flavor)
* 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
* Coarse sugar or granulated sugar (skip this or substitute Splenda)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Beat the butter in a medium mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar until combined. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in thyme, lemon peel,  and lemon juice. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour with a wooden spoon. Knead until smooth; form mixture into a ball.

2. Divide dough into three equal portions. Roll each portion into a 6×4 1/2-inch rectangle (about 1/4 inch thick) on a lightly floured surface. Cut dough into 1 1/2-inch squares with a scalloped-edge pastry wheel. Sprinkle cutouts with coarse sugar. Place cutouts on ungreased cookie sheets.

3. Bake in preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until edges are just lightly brown. Transfer to wire racks and let cool. Makes 36 cookies.

4. To store: Place cookies in layers separated by pieces of waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw cookies, if frozen, before serving.

Note:  If you want to use this in a tart pan, you will need to add more flour and be sure to flour your hands well!

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Balancing Beauty and Bedlam’s Tasty Tuesday

Blessed with Grace’s Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

The Gypsy’s Corner’s Three or More

Southern Outdoor Rooms

Submitted by Christi

If you’ve been around A Southern Life for a while you know that I really enjoy being outdoors as much as possible. Outdoor rooms are the perfect place for me. What do you need to have an outdoor room? For me, all I need is a comfortable place to sit, a little shade and maybe a table.

What do you need for your outdoor room? Here are a few pics I found for inspiration:

My outdoor room is my own back porch. What do you need to turn your dreams into reality for your own outdoor room?

Metamorphosis Monday with Between Naps on the Porch

Today’s Lagniappe:  Strawberry Vinaigrette
The perfect time of year for strawberries!

# 1 cup olive oil
# 1/2 pint fresh strawberries, halved
# 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
# 1/2 teaspoon salt
# 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
# 1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
# 1/4 teaspoon white sugar

In a blender or food processor, mix olive oil, strawberries, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, tarragon and sugar. Blend until smooth.

Southern Sunday

Submitted by Christi

Recently I posted pictures of the steep hills that I encounter on my daily walks. These steep hills and long walks are made much more bearable by the beautiful scenery that I see as I pass by. Our lives are like that. Sometimes, we encounter steep hills but they are made bearable by trusting in God’s goodness!

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us — they help us learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady. Then, when that happens, we are able to hold our heads high no matter what happens and know that all is well, for we know how dearly God loves us, and we feel this warm love everywhere within us because God has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5: 3-5 TLB

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Join Chari at Happy to Design for Sunday favorites and Charlotte and Ginger at Blogger Spirit for Spiritual Sunday and enjoy your Sunday!

From April 13th, 2010:

Southern Ramblings

I’ve been “rambling” a lot lately. By rambling, I mean walking. Generally, I spend my day at my desk, creating websites, blogs and social media as well as other internet marketing activities, so my daily walk is very important!

I thought I’d show you a couple of the more challenging parts of my walk. This hill is a real leg burner. At the top, you turn left and continue to climb!

This is another favorite hill:

Oh well, at least I have lovely scenery to distract me! The wisteria, azaleas and iris are blooming now and they are gorgeous!

A little baby wisteria bush.

a little baby wisteria bush.

I love seeing the azalea and dogwood blooming at the same time.

I loved seeing the pretty red azaleas and dogwoods blooming at the same time.

Snowballs and purple iris.

Snowballs and purple iris.

I have to avert my eyes from the crepe murder that is going on. I also saw a redbud being cut down today – horrors! I am quite proud of myself for refraining from yelling “STOP” to neighbors who are committing these crimes 🙂 Of course, I can always tell all my blog friends about it and we can be suitably horrified together. What’s going on in your neighborhood?

A few outdoor pics for Outdoor Wednesday with A Southern Daydreamer and Rednesday! with It’s a Very Cherry and today’s lagniappe is a great idea for Crockpot Wedneday with Dining with Debbie.

Today’s Lagniappe: Cheesy Corn Dip
Serve this with corn chips.

1 pound Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup creamed corn
1/2 cup fresh OR frozen corn kernels
1 can (4 ounce) diced green chiles
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes

Combine all ingredients in a 4-quart slow cooker and mix thoroughly. Cover; cook on high heat setting about 1 hour.

Southern Spring Showers

Submitted by Christi

We have been enjoying days and days of sunshine, but as I look at my plants outdoors, I could see, they really needed rain. Watering is great, but sometimes, they just need a good soaking rain. Well, yesterday, last night and this morning – they got it!

robin at the feeder

This robin braved the rain to get a little nibble.

clouds

This morning, the clouds are starting to clear

clouds

And the blue sky is peeking through

Thyme

I love the pretty PINK flowers on the thyme

herbs

The thyme flowers along with the chives make the herb pot really pretty.

It is another beautiful day here in my world. And, it is also:

Pink Saturday

Pink Saturday with Beverly at How Sweet the Sound

Southern Favorites

Submitted by Christi

Do you have recipe sites that you routinely visit? I do! Some of my favorites are

And then, of course there are the great blog parties with recipes, like today’s party at Gollum’s

With Designs by Gollum

What are your favorite recipe sites?

Today’s Lagniappe: Melon, Mozzarella, and Prosciutto Skewers
This lovely recipe is from All Recipes. If you can’t find prosciutto, use thin sliced ham. That is one of things I love about recipes, you can change them to suit what you have and what you like and many times they are  a “jumping off” point to a great new recipe. Check out this recipe on the All Recipe site for nutrition information.

* 20  (1-inch) cantaloupe or honeydew cubes (about 2 1/2 cups)
* 20  thin slices prosciutto (about 1/2 lb.)
* 20  fresh small mozzarella cheese balls (about 1 [8-oz.] tub)
* 20  (4-inch) wooden skewers
* Freshly cracked pepper

Preparation

1. Thread 1 melon cube, 1 prosciutto slice, and 1 mozzarella ball onto each of 20 (4-inch) wooden skewers. Sprinkle with cracked pepper.

Note: For testing purposes only, we used Il Villaggio Mozzarella Fior di Latte Ciliegine cheese for mozzarella cheese balls.

Southern Endings

Submitted by Christi

Sadly, The Cottage, which I have posted about is coming to an end. They had the most wonderful dishes and home items, but, now, they are going out of business 🙁

I did a tablescape at The Cottage that was one of my favorites. Here it is for:

Tablescape Thursday with Between Naps on the Porch

with Between Naps on the Porch

From when times were better for The Cottage:

You may remember getting to know Linda Howell previously. She is my good friend who is a great real estate agent and a fabulous actress. Linda invited me out to The Cottage last weekend where we sat at this beautiful table with her gorgeous china and visited.

The china is Montmery by Haviland. It was passed on to her by her mother. She says when her father was made enough money to buy something nice for her mother, he bought her this lovely china. It features pretty little forget-me-nots.

The crystal is over 100 years old. It belonged to Linda’s best friend’s grandmother and was given to her as a wedding present by her friend’s mother. Her friend has since died but Linda uses this beautiful crystal as a way to remember her.

See the pretty forget-me-nots?

See the pretty forget-me-nots?

Here is that special crystal I told you about - over 100 years old!

Here is that special crystal I told you about - over 100 years old!

 A lovely time on the porch with a wonderful view.

A lovely time on the porch with a wonderful view.

A nice, simple centerpiece.

A nice, simple centerpiece.

Beautiful cups

Beautiful cups

Isn't the little bird pretty?

Isn't the little bird pretty?

More of that lovely view from the table.

More of that lovely view from the table.

A special way to spend time with a friend.

A special way to spend time with a friend.

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Hope you enjoyed this tablescape and all the others at Between Naps on the Porch

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Today’s Lagniappe: BLT Pasta Salad
Something nice for a warm Spring day.
2 cups uncooked pasta
5 green onions, finely chopped
1 large tomato, diced
1/2 cup finely diced celery
1-1/4 cups good mayonnaise (Duke’s or Hellmann’s)
5 teaspoons white vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 or more tsp pepper
1 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled (set aside)

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and rinse in cold water. In large bowl, combine the pasta, onions, tomatoes, and celery. In small bowl, combine mayonnaise, vinegar, salt, & pepper. Pour over pasta mixture and toss to coat. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours. Just before serving, add bacon.

Southern Wildflowers

Submitted by Christi

Mama is traveling this week to San Antonio. This is a great time to travel through Texas. The bluebonnets should be blooming! I remember when I lived in Texas how I looked forward to the pretty blue flowers.

When I was growing up, my bedroom window faced a field that would bloom in the Spring. I could lay in my bed in the morning and look out at the beautiful wild flowers. What a blessing that was! I wish I had pictures I could share. They are only in my head as memories. I do remember some of the flowers that would bloom.

Tons of these:

And, lots of these:

So many beautiful colors. What kind of wild flowers do you have in your area?

A few outdoor pics for Outdoor Wednesday with A Southern Daydreamer and Rednesday! with It’s a Very Cherry and today’s lagniappe is a great idea for Crockpot Wedneday with Dining with Debbie.

Today’s Lagniappe: Fruited Brisket
Tender delicious and easy – made in a crockpot!

* 2 1/2 lb. beef brisket
* 2 onions, chopped
* 1 tablespoon pepper
* 1 tablespoon paprika
* 1 tablespoon garlic powder
* 1 C. dried apricots
* 2 C. dried sweetened cranberries
* 1 C. dried prunes
* 3 C. water

Season the brisket on both sides and sear on all sides in a hot frying pan. Then in your slow cooker, put down your 2 c of onions and place seared brisket on top. Add in all the fruits. Pour 3 cups of water over everything and cook on low for 4 hours. Refrigerate overnight (it’s easier to cut it real thin when it’s cold). Place sliced beef and all the gravy and fruit into your slow cooker on high to heat for 20 minutes and serve.

Southern Wild Onions

Submitted by Christi

One of my favorite parts of spring is seeing the wild onions appear. Oh, I know they are considered weeds among many, but to me, they are just a wonderful sign of spring!

A bunch (3 or more) of onions

If you have them in your yard, you know it. When you mow over them, they give off the most wonderful smell!

We have a wonderful little plot in the back of the back yard that has many of the wonderful little alliums! I remember the wonderful onion smell from childhood. It was truly a sign of spring and I knew that summer was not far off!

Today’s Lagniappe: Wild Onions and Eggs
A wonderful springtime brunch or breakfast treat!

4-5 bunches wild onions (about 4-5 onions each)
1/4 c. water
6 eggs
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. milk
Cajun or Creole spices

1. Chop 16-18 thin onions. Put in the frying pan and add water. Boil the onions; do not let them cook dry. After 5 minutes, drain the onions.

2. Melt the butter in the pan. Scramble the eggs and milk in the butter and onions. Add spices.

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Balancing Beauty and Bedlam’s Tasty Tuesday

Blessed with Grace’s Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

The Gypsy’s Corner’s Three or More

Southern “Herban” Renewal

Submitted by Christi

Every year, I plant herbs. Sometimes I plant them in my her planter. Sometimes in my garden. But, always, I must have herbs in the garden.

This year, I have put herbs in pots. Sorry I didn’t get the before pics. I got busy moving the huge pots and then planting them!

I moved my perennial herbs from their spot in the planter to pots and added a few additions.  They thyme and chives are from previous plantings. The rosemary is new (last years planting did not last through the winter and I added some  more parsley as well.

Can’t live without the herbs that I grow in the garden!

I also planted some cherry tomatoes along with some basil. They are great companion plants. I plant to get some marigolds to plant along with them as well. Planting marigolds with any garden improves the soil and is good for the other plants.

I call my new herb plantings my “herb-an renewal”! What renewals have you got going on?

Metamorphosis Monday with Between Naps on the Porch


Today’s Lagniappe: Chimichurri
A wonderful way to use parsley from the garden, this sauce is great over grilled steaks!

1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup sherry wine vinegar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

In a blender or food processor, combine the parsley, garlic, oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, ground black pepper and cayenne pepper. Mix well, but do not puree.

Southern Sunday

Submitted by Christi

Everywhere I look, new life is beginning, the trees and flowers have bloomed, the birds are busy building nests for new life. New life is everywhere. Thank you Lord for all of your blessings! Thank you for the new life we can have in you through your Son, Jesus!

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:
old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new
~2 Corinthians 5:17

Look around and see how the Lord has blessed us with so much abundance!

This post is from June 9th, 2009:

My neighbor across the street recently made a discovery. She was watering a little garden area in her front yard and these little baby bunnies hopped out. They weren’t too happy about getting wet!

Aren't they adorable?

Aren't they adorable?

My husband put his hand in the pic so you can tell how small they are!

My husband put his hand in the pic so you can tell how small they are!

This one got a little wet.

This one got a little wet.

They weren't real happy about being disturbed.

They weren't real happy about being disturbed.

This one is ready to get back to the nest.

This one is ready to get back to the nest.

So, we shooed them back under the tree. We didn’t want any neighborhood cats to find them! What a fun treat to get to see these little ones!

Today’s Lagniappe: Summer Tomato Sandwich
With fresh tomatoes available, you gotta find ways to use their yummy goodness!

  • 1 (1 pound) loaf ciabatta bread
  • 3/4 cup pesto
  • 8 ounces fontina cheese, sliced
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, sliced
  • 4 leaves butter lettuce
  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. Slice ciabatta bread in half lengthwise. Spread pesto on the cut side of each half. Top bottom half with slices of fontina cheese, and then place slices of tomato on top of cheese. Broil until cheese melts, and remove from broiler.
  3. Place lettuce over tomatoes, and then position top half of bread on top of everything. Slice into 8 or 10 small sandwiches, and serve.

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Join Chari at Happy to Design for Sunday favorites and Charlotte and Ginger at Blogger Spirit for Spiritual Sunday and enjoy your Sunday!

Southern Wonderful World

Submitted by Christi

I LOVE spring! The trees

and the redbuds

The flowers

The creeping phlox

The blue skies, the asparagus, the snap peas, the strawberries . . .  okay, I digress! I love the colors but I also love the flavors. What a wonderful world!

Today’s Lagniappe: Spring Green Risotto
Something pretty and green for Spring from Ina Garten for

With Designs by Gollum

* 1 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil
* 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 3 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 leeks)
* 1 cup chopped fennel
* 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
* 2/3 cup dry white wine
* 4 to 5 cups simmering chicken stock, preferably homemade
* 1 pound thin asparagus
* 10 ounces frozen peas, defrosted, or 1 1/2 cups shelled fresh peas
* 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
* 1/3 cup mascarpone cheese, preferably Italian
* 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
* 3 tablespoons minced fresh chives, plus extra for serving

Directions

Heat the olive oil and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks and fennel and saute for 5 to 7 minutes, until tender. Add the rice and stir for a minute to coat with the vegetables, oil, and butter. Add the white wine and simmer over low heat, stirring constantly, until most of the wine has been absorbed. Add the chicken stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring almost constantly and waiting for the stock to be absorbed before adding more. This process should take 25 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the asparagus diagonally in 1 1/2-inch lengths and discard the tough ends. Blanch in boiling salted water for 4 to 5 minutes, until al dente. Drain and cool immediately in ice water. (If using fresh peas, blanch them in boiling water for a few minutes until the starchiness is gone.)

When the risotto has been cooking for 15 minutes, drain the asparagus and add it to the risotto with the peas, lemon zest, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Continue cooking and adding stock, stirring almost constantly, until the rice is tender but still firm.

Whisk the lemon juice and mascarpone together in a small bowl. When the risotto is done, turn off the heat and stir in the mascarpone mixture plus the Parmesan cheese and chives. Set aside, off the heat, for a few minutes, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve hot with a sprinkling of chives and more Parmesan cheese.

More Southern Porch Stuff

Submitted by Christi

I’ll have to admit, when ever it is even the least little bit warm enough, I’m ready to move it outside. I love having morning coffee on the porch, lunch on the porch, dinners on the porch. I’ll even try to arrange to have meetings on the porch. Anything to be out enjoying the sunshine! Of course, eventually, it will be a little too warm to be out on the porch until late, late in the evening. That is okay – I’m there, watching the lightning bugs and listening to the cicadas!

This evening, it is just another supper on the porch. I’ll try to keep this fresh, but sometimes, I just enjoy the regular evening on the porch without anything fancy. But . . . not this evening. This evening, I broke out the china!

China on floral placemats

Green glasses, edged in gold (to match to gold edged plates).

I thought the napkin folds looked kind of like bunnies!

A little light for ambiance when the sun goes down.

Fun for another evening on the porch!

What is going happening on your porch? Check out some great tablescapes at:

Tablescape Thursday with Between Naps on the Porch

with Between Naps on the Porch

Today’s Lagniappe:  Pickled Asparagus
It is asparagus season! Make a batch of these to serve on an antipasto platter or with a Bloody Mary.

* 1 onion, thinly sliced
* 4 lbs fresh asparagus
* 1 red bell pepper, seeded, and cut into thin strips
* 5 cups white wine vinegar
* 2 cups water (distilled is best)
* 4 tablespoons sugar
* 4 tablespoons pickling spices
* 2 teaspoons pickling salt or kosher salt

1. Place several slices of onion in the bottom of two 1-quart jars.
2. Trim the asparagus to fit in the jars; pack them in with the cut-end facing down.
3. Place the pepper strips in between asparagus.
4. Combine the remaining ingredients in a saucepan, and boil over moderate heat for 10 minutes.
5. Pour into the jars, leaving 1/2-inch head space.
6. Seal the jars according to the manufacturer’s directions; process for 20 minutes in boiling water bath.