A secret about me: I love the Olympics.
Every few years I spend 2 weeks glued to the television in pure, inspired bliss. Slurping up every medal event and every moment of Bob Costas. I remember watching Shannon Miller and the USA women’s gymnastics team compete in ’96 and then prance down our narrow hallway to my own gold-medal routine. I would beg to stay up late to see bobsledders, skiers, and snowboarding. For two weeks there’d be no fighting over the remote, no turning the channel for cartoons. Everyone in the family curled up in the living room for the best competition the world can offer.
My childhood adoration has become an adult obsession. I was a freshman in college during the 2006 Turin winter games and watched every event possible. Chemistry lecture or Apolo Anton Ohno? hmm…I’ll choose gold. Every morning I updated a medal count chart on my dorm room door and hosted a closing ceremonies viewing party on my 12″ T.V.
But this photo (taken by the fantastic folks at Helios Photography) is perhaps the best example of my Olympic devotion:
That’s me in the upstairs of our church watching the 2008 Beijing rowing competition, 30 minutes before I’m supposed to head downstairs and marry the kitchen partner. The Olympics and I are BFF’s. Even on my wedding day.
Not much has changed since ’08. Tonight I’m blogging from the couch while watching swimming and women’s beach volleyball. I’m celebrating gold medal runs for Team USA and a gold medal accomplishment of my own. My first batch of canning for the season is resting on the counter: 5 jars of zucchini pickle slices.
The recipe came from my canning guru Food in Jars writer Marisa McClellan at Seriouseats.com. She made her version fresh, ready to eat in 48 hours. I’m hoping to enjoy these in January just as much as July, so I chose to make a larger batch and water-bath can them. There’s a hint of lemon and just the right amount of pickle pucker – that sour, salty, savory combination perfect on sandwiches and burgers. Why not make these with yellow summer squash and have your own jar of gold medals?
Zucchini Pickle Slices
3 pounds zucchini or summer squash
1/2 tsp. lemon juice, in each jar
1/4 tsp. mustard seeds, in each jar
1/4 tsp. pickling spices, in each jar
dash of dill seed in each jar
3 cups white vinegar
3 tablespoons pickling salt
1. Wash the zucchini and slice into 1/4″ slices using a sharp knife or mandolin.
2. Pack zucchini into sterile jars. Add 1/2 tsp. lemon juice, 1/4 tsp. mustard seeds, and 1/4 tsp. pickling spices and dill seedto each jar.
3. In a medium saucepan, combine vinegar and salt. Stir until dissolved and then bring to a boil. Pour hot brine over each jar leaving 1/2 inch head space.
4. Seal and process in a boiling water canning bath for 10 minutes.