I’m big on daydreaming. Always have been! I love to view my little world as a collective whole and then brainstorm on ways to improve it, change it or simply add to it’s goodness in new and exciting ways.
During our years in the city, I dreamed up quite a few scenarios for my future self and our family. As luck and dedication, hard work and patience would have it, a vast many of those scenarios have come to fruition over the past couple of years. Some of those visions were big. Like really big! For example, selling our city house and buying a forever homestead in the country. That’s no itty-bitty dream y’all. And it happened!
Other visions were small and simple. For example, growing vegetables in a space larger than our raised beds in the side yard or our plot in the neighborhood community garden. Those gardens allowed us just enough space for us to get our hands dirty, harvest some greens and veggies and ultimately wet our appetites for more land to grow more greens and more veggies. So, with the purchase of our homestead came the fulfillment of a large garden and fruit trees and berry bushes and so many other growing opportunities for medicinal plants and shrubs, herbs and perennials of all kinds.
Talk about dreams coming true!
There are still days when I wake up in disbelief that I get to live this life. But it doesn’t stop there. For a couple years before we moved out of the city, I was dreaming on chickens daily. I was reading books about how to build chicken coops and following blogs dedicated exclusively to caring for and keeping chickens. I went to bed thinking about incubators and coop designs and homemade scratch. Home-hatched, homegrown chickens, fresh eggs and roosters filled my fantasies. Yes. I’m weird. But this was my daydream. I wanted the freshest of fresh eggs to feed my family. I wanted so many fresh eggs that I had to invent recipes in order to find ways to use them all! I wanted so many fresh eggs that I had to force them on friends and find ways to preserve them in a larder. And yes. I was dreaming about larders. Well, dreams do come true my friends. I don’t have a larder (yet) but we seldom go without someone laying eggs around here these days.
Granted, there have been highs and lows. We have gone from being overly blessed with fresh eggs daily to me literally getting teary-eyed in the refrigerated egg section of the supermarket as I reminisce on nature’s predators and the onslaught of terror that wiped out my entire flock the evening before. Hey. These things happen in nature. We must pick up the pieces or as my Old Grandpa used to say “back to the drawing board.” But finally we seem to have a healthy, happy and safe flock of laying hens who joyfully free range throughout the day and retire to a predator proof (so far) coop and run each evening. And with that accomplishment, I have finally been able to fulfill yet another daydream that has occupied my visions for about 4 years now.
My dream goes a little something like this… Grow my very own beets and my very own onions in my very own garden and then pickle my very own farm fresh eggs, laid by my very own healthy, happy hens.
Yes, friends. These are the types of dreams I have. I want for few material possessions. Give me gardens and feathers, homegrown floral bouquets, colorful stones and seashells, the smell of wood smoke in the fall and the scent of the sea in the summer. These are the types of things that really get my mojo in high gear.
Welp, it happened. This summer for the very first time, I did all of the above. From the homegrown beets and onions to the farm fresh eggs from my chickens. Let there be sweet pink pickled eggs in abundance! And it has been done. Right here at The Wildwood Homestead. Life is for loving. And so are these pink pickled beets! Make your own batch with the recipe below. And NO. You don’t have to raise your own beets, onions and chickens. Although take it from me, it will be uber satisfying if you go that route. Ya know, if you’re into that sort of thing.
PINK PICKLED EGGS
2 large beets (cut into small pieces) or 5-6 smaller beets, peeled.
8 hardboiled eggs, peeled
½ large red onion, sliced
½ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup white wine vinegar
4 Tbsp sugar (or more if you want sweeter taste)
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp mustard seed
2 crushed or thinly sliced garlic cloves
Cover beets with water and bring to boil. Cook until tender – about 20 or 30 minutes. Drain beets and reserve at least 1 cup of liquid. If you don’t have enough liquid to make a full cup, simply add a little more water. Place eggs, beets and onions in quart mason jar. Combine remaining cup of liquid and vinegars, sugar, salt, garlic and mustard seed in saucepan. Bring to boil and let simmer until sugar is completely dissolved. Pour hot brine into jar covering all contents. Allow jar to cool to room temperature, place lid and put jar in fridge for at least one week before serving. Can be stored in fridge for up to 6 months.