Smallest batch of preserves this year… Cocktail Onions

Pickled onions – I’ve been meaning to do a batch for two years.  I have this vision of having a sophisticated cocktail party and, whilst wearing a cardigan, I offer my guests some form of dirty martini with a homemade pickled onion on the side.  The more likely reality is that I will end up eating an entire jar of pickled onions by myself on the couch while watching a few games of football in the winter.

Smallest batch of preserves this year... Cocktail Onions Preserving Recipes Onion

Peeling is made far easier by briefly blanching the onions in boiling water.  They need to stay submerged in hard boiling water for about a minute before they easily peel.

Smallest batch of preserves this year... Cocktail Onions Preserving Recipes Onion

The jars were finished with cider vinegar, mustard seed, water, sugar, horseradish, hot peppers and bay leaves.  We’ll post the recipe if happy with the taste in a few months.

The photo above is the complete batch – 3 cups of final product.  We did these at the same time as another batch of pickles which made it easy to do at the same time.  It was a good use of extra brine and energy as we already had the water boiling and equipment going full tilt.  It is by far the smallest batch of preserves we’ve made this year.

I am heading to the north to start prepping the camp for the hunting season.  There are 7 or 8 guys meeting there and working for 3-5 days.  It’s also the start of partridge season which means there will be limited opportunities to harvest some wild game.  If successful we will be sensitive on how we post about the process of harvesting local, wild food such as birds.  The main focus this weekend is building, trail maintenance and initial tracking.  Moose hunting is next month for us.

There will be posts through the weekend – hope you come by and check them out.  In the meantime, does any one share my cocktail party preserving vision or have you ever made something for a special occasion that may never happen?  I’m hoping I’m not the only one – after all, I look horrible in a cardigan.


  1. gaelenscafe says:

    Joel, I’ve been thinking about pickled onions, too (and giardiniera, another small-batch special occasion pickle for me.) Not about cardigans, though. I’ve got a batch of giardiniera brining in the ‘fridge now, and canned a couple jars late last week — made it in 12 oz. jars so that I’d get three of them. It’s hard to find pearl onions around here this time of year, but if I can find them, I think I’ll make up a small batch; your recipe sounds perfect.
    I’m looking forward to your thoughts on wild game (I get the occasional duck, part of a goose or some quail from the hunters I work with, in return for dog training tips.) Hope that Schaeffer becomes everything you hope for him; he looks like a wonderful puppy.

  2. i just love this post!

    first the idea of the cocktail party in a cardigan is great. second, i LOL because i have had a vision for a couple of years of hosting a Tigress’ Royal Tea Party’ starting at exactly 4 o’clock with tea and those little sandwiches and cookies that come to mind when one thinks of english tea time – featuring my pickles and jams of course.

    we’ll see if i ever get to it…! :)


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