Friday, February 10, 2012

The Little Brick House and Fried Pickles

We live in a little brick house, on the property where a big old victorian mansion sits. The mansion was turned into an insurence agency and our house sits right across. I always talk about the little brick house so here it is. 

Gypsy Slow Down

Isn't it cute? Witt was already here taking care of the lawn and living in the house when we got married. When I say little, I mean 400 square feet. A one room, little kitchen off to the side, tiny bathroom and small bedroom loft upstairs. After we got married, Witt took over the maintenance of the property and I began cleaning the insurance building on the weekends, doing all this as well as working our full time jobs during the week. There is a lot about our time here I will look back on fondly, but sometimes I get tired of parts our lives being dictated by the office and washing dishes by hand and hanging out at the laundry mat. Oh yeah, and cleaning the building. Scrubbing toilets has humbled me. Well, tried to humble me. I'm not going to pretend that I love it. My pride has just huffed off and settled down in the past year. Still. I'm emptying other peoples trash cans. A bright spot is my sister-in-law, Rose, who earns extra money by cleaning with me. She has no qualms about scrubbing a bathroom floor on her hands and knees. I have never heard her complain about that.

I am glad that I have worked this job because if nothing else, I can walk down the halls at a hotel and see the cleaning people and relate and wonder if they use fabuloso. I'm paying off my school loans pretty quickly. And I'm also a champion cleaner. Rose and I can clean the whole sucker in less than 2 hours. How's that for a life skill?

Gypsy Slow Down

        There are perks to the little brick house. Like the blackberries in the summer. The weekends when no one is here and we grill out and eat outside with the field and trees surrounding us. I would so rather see that from my window than a parking lot from an apartment building. The great space to have an outdoor party. Our garden in the back. The house is cozy and I like standing over the stove in the little kitchen and watching Witt grate cheese or chop veggies on the coffee table.

I told you I would share the fried pickle recipe if it turned and here it is! Right now, go pop in a Jillian Michaels DVD and work out because you are going to want to eat about 25 of these.  I adapted this recipe from Alton Brown at Food Network.

Gypsy Slow Down

Fried Pickles- makes about 50 fried pickles

3 cups cornmeal
2 tablespoons Lowry's seasoning salt
2 teaspoons red chili powder (to taste, depending on how spicy you like)
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
Vegetable Oil, Coconut Oil for frying
About 50 dill pickle chips (look for the extra large ones, not the hamburger chips)

Heat about 2-3 inches oil in large pot. Oil will be ready if you drop a pickle in and it fizzles around the edges. Whisk the eggs into the buttermilk. Combine all dry ingredients and put into a pie plate (this just makes it easier to dip the pickles). Line a baking sheet with paper towels and lay out the pickles to drain some of the juices. Dip the pickle in the buttermilk mixture and then into the cornmeal mixture. Tip: Use one hand to dip in the wet and the other to coat with the dry. Place in oil. It will take about 2 minutes per side, flip the pickle over in the oil to crisp the other side. Adjust the heat on the stove if the pickles are browning too quickly. Drain on paper towels and let cool just long enough to not burn the crap out of your mouth (you will probably burn the crap out anyway because you won't want to wait until they cool- personal experience).

Witt made a really yummy parmesan peppercorn dip, with sour cream, ranch powder, parmesan cheese, cracked pepper and hot sauce. Enjoy!

We also got a can of jalapeno peppers, cut off the stem and spooned out the seeds and stuffed the peppers with onion cream cheese dip. Then the jalapenos were frozen so that the cheese wouldn't ooze when fried. Then they were breaded like the pickles and fried in the oil. So good, too spicy for me, but I heard they were delicious.

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