Apologies for the vernacular but any of you in the UK who watch Strictly will know that Len Goodman is famous for saying 'I'll pickle me walnuts!'
I have a lot of eggs at the moment as all four hens are now laying regularly so 28 per week is a lot for me and Trev. Poor old Dolly is trying to keep up with the youngsters but looks very pleased with herself at the moment - here she is in her very own little ray of sunshine. (It's pouring while I am writing this!)
I am using the * 1 litre Le Parfait clip top jars today so I took off the rubber rings and put them into a heatproof jug. I poured boiling water over them and placed the washed jars into a warm oven, around 50 degrees to sterilise them.
* This type of jar is on special offer at the moment so very good value.
So, I had 24 eggs which I hard boiled - put them into cold water, brought them to a gentle boil in my big pan and then cooked for 15 minutes. I had a bowl of cold water ready in the sink and used a slotted spoon to lift them out of the hot water, and then drop carefully into the cold water. This helps to stop a black ring forming around the yolk of the egg.
Once the eggs are cold you will need to peel them - carefully - try to leave the egg intact if possible. Don't use the super freshest eggs for pickling as they will be very difficult to peel. The eggshells can be crushed and used around delicate plants in the garden to keep slugs and snails away. Rinse the eggs under running water to get rid of any bits of shell and drain thoroughly.
Put around 2 litres of white wine vinegar or distilled malt vinegar into a pan with either a couple of tablespoons of pickling spice or 5/6 dried Bird's Eye chillies. Gently heat together until hot but not boiling and keep over a low heat until needed. Take the jars from the oven, drain the rubber rings and pat dry on kitchen paper. Fit back onto the jar lids. Loosely pack the eggs in the jars leaving plenty of head space. Pour the hot vinegar over, through a jam funnel to prevent splashes, together with a few of the spices - whichever you have chosen to use.
Make sure that all of the eggs are covered by the vinegar and totally submerged. Clip down the tops securely. Store somewhere out of direct light and keep for approximately 2 weeks to mature.Enjoy!