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Meg and Jen are neighbors we treasure. We live in a fussy Westwood neighborhood where meetings, like night’s discussion about Aleppo versus Canary Island pine trees, stir up excitement and prompt actions like examining our tree by iPhone light for mushrooms, and not the good kind. I was the youngest one at the meeting, so I had that going for me, until a Leslie Knope type from the councilman’s office showed up with her sensible pumps and clear skin enthusiasm.

Twelve years ago…

I worked with Meg in NY at this place. She was my preggers confidante – you know, the one who gets you the O’Doul’s at sales retreatsso no one suspects your pregnant (as if my un-treateed root line wasn’t dead giveaway). Remember, this was a company that promoted you for throwing back tequila shots like a man and for throwing your co-worker under the bus like a Mean Girl.

Meg and her adorable wife, Jen, through some wonders from the heavens and a few career machinations have moved two blocks away. We feed their cats when they’re out of town, they store our furniture in their garage, and we have impromptu dinners, like for last Sunday’s premiere of Homeland – omg does Carrie remember Issa or not?

Meg and Jen crave these pickles, which I swiped from these guys, even more than we do – and we’re a pickle household. If you’ve never made pickles before, here’s your starter recipe. No boiling, no sterilizing, no nothing. Just mix ‘er up in the jar and shove in the vegetables. Ridiculously easy — see how easy in the video below — and they last a good long time in the fridge.


quickest, spicy pickles and 60 second recipe video

preptime: 15 minutes makes 2 quarts
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups distilled white vinegar (5 percent acidity)
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 6 large garlic cloves, halved
  • 4 to 6 long red or green hot chiles, halved lengthwise
  • 16 dill sprigs
  1. Pack vegetables into 2 clean 1-quart glass jars.
  2. In another jar, combine the salt, sugar, vinegar, coriander and garlic. Shake until the salt and sugar dissolve.
  3. Add 2 cups of water and pour the brine over the vegetables.
  4. Tuck the chiles and dill between the vegetables.
  5. Add enough water to keep the vegetables submerged.
  6. Close the jars and refrigerate overnight or for up to 1 month.
recipe from foodandwine.com and provided by your friends at crunchtimefood.com


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