Hi, I’m Kelly Wilkinson.
Crafter, journalist,
middle sister, more...

Entries in jars (4)


diy pickled shallots

top image by Sarah

A little more about that pickling session. Sarah and I lead the group in making pickled shallots, with a buffet of Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-Pickle-Spices: juniper berries, bay leaves, star anise, mustard seeds, peppercorns, on and on.

We call this a “Kitchen Sink Pickle” because you can throw in whatever vegetables you want. You could also add honey or sugar with you prefer your pickle with a punch of sweetness. This is a quick pickle, meaning you can make it before you start other dinner prep and it will be ready when you put everything on the table. It's enough time for the vinegar to take the raw hotness off the shallot.

We served this with duck confit and – this is the awesome thing about pickles – the addition cuts right through heavy, fatty dishes and brightens up the whole thing. I am a pickle convert. So I give you our recipe, as well as some ideas for different ways to dress up the final jars.

1 cup cider vinegar

1/2 cup water (plus more, if needed)

2 teaspoons kosher salt

2-3 teaspoons of your preferred pickling spices

2-3 shallots, sliced thin

1. Combine cider vinegar with water, salt and spices in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil.

2. Place shallots in a clean, dry glass jar just large enough to fit. Pour the brine over to cover completely. If there’s extra room at the top, add cold water to cover.

3. Cover with lid and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. The pickles will keep for about 10 days.


not a mere trifle

What is it about the eve of a roadtrip that kicks me into a burst of idea and action? We are hitting the road today, to drive down winding roads and spend the night up north. Wherever we go, we bring our trusty pistachio-colored cooler and picnic basket, for spontaneous picnics whenever we arrive at a scenic vista. I decided to make a summery trifle, because I suspect it might travel well. Then last night as I was making up the dead simple dessert, an idea struck, very much inspired by Not Martha and Angry Chicken's genius and heart-crushingly cute experiments to bake pies and cakes in tiny jars. What about individual trifles, to pluck out of the cooler when the sweet craving strikes?

I used this recipe, but lessened the sugar to a scant ¼ cup in the syrup and ¼ cup instead of 1/3 cup in the cream. I also added lemon zest to the cream mixture. Then assemble as instructed, make up labels (optional, of course, but I particularly love this part. I printed gingham on adhesive mailing labels) and pack in the cooler. With plenty of spoons.


can we all go out for a drink?

Thank you, every single person out there, for the big-hearted congrats about the new column. It's so gratifying to hear from people I've never even had a conversation with, who believe in me anyway. It really, really means a lot.

And I am as excited as you that newspapers are giving real inches to craft. Hooray!

Along those lines, my new DIY project is up over at Heart Handmade. This one is as quick as it is satisfying. I realized last week that I had turned our dining room table into a crafting Superfund site. But before I tidied up, I created yet another project. Oops. All the details are over on Marichelle’s ever-inspiring site.

(tape first spied over at Oh Happy Day)


is there a name for this kind of love?

Have I confessed before my random love of transporting miscellaneous liquids in squat, little leftover glass jars? I am sure there is a clinical term for this obsession of mine. Here are some recent adventures-in-transportation:

The dressing for our camping coleslaw, and butter for morning grits:

Pomegranate-Molasses-Bitters-Lemon. In other words, a base for a whiskey cocktail enjoyed on a friend’s porch. Based on this recipe. Delish. The jar in the back is a creme fraiche kind of thing to be shaken later and poured over summer pudding, on that same porch.

Yes, good things happen on that porch.

PS: You guys are awesome in your love for my Dad and his hockey playing. Thanks for all the great, flattering notes. They really mean a lot. And yes, my Dad is pretty kickass. 

And secondly, the ink I used on the muslin bag is a fabric ink stamp pad. I think I got it at Paper Source. I think you could certainly chance it and use a regular ink pad. At least, that's how I would roll if I didn't have the fabric ink pad...but I just happened to have it from another project.