Puckaweekend grows ever closer. As I write this, it’s a little over six weeks away, so this is the perfect time to brew up a new round of pickled eggs to bring to the party.

The first efforts went over quite well considering this was something I’d never tried to do before. The mustard eggs and horseradish eggs were the clear favorites, so this time around I made two large jars of each. While I didn’t deviate far from the original recipes, I did end up making some minor adjustments to both varieties. The mustard eggs got a little heat help from a heaping teaspoon of red pepper flakes, I subbed garlic Tabasco for the standard variety, and I added some onion powder to broaden the flavor a bit. The horseradish kind got a double-dose of its namesake and this time I added it after boiling the vinegar and dry ingredients. I think I lost some of the potency last time that way. Also, as it was in season this time around, each jar has some fresh dill. I minced, rather than crushed, the fresh garlic for this batch. I have no idea whether that’ll make much of a difference, but it was certainly easier. Besides, I needed a bunch of minced garlic for a new experiment.

Bolstered by previous success, I decided to step up my pickling game this round. I’m branching out from eggs into mushrooms and asparagus. I took a container of fresh white mushrooms and boiled them in a 2:1 mix of vinegar and water along with some minced garlic, pickling salt, dill seed, dill weed, red pepper flakes, mustard seed, onion powder, and cracked peppercorns. The garlic is the star of the show here; these things will provide Grade A vampire protection. Once the mushrooms darkened and shrank, I dropped them into the jar. I had too much liquid from boiling them, so I strained the solid ingredients out to make sure they’d all get in the jar before topping it off..

For the asparagus, I went the spicy route: cayenne pepper, chipotle pepper powder, smoked Tabasco, red pepper flakes, and whole peppercorns will give it some kick. There’s also the necessary pickling salt and some mixed pickling spices. I put a thick layer of horseradish in the jar, arranged the fresh asparagus, mixed the dry ingredients into some boiling hot vinegar, and filled it up.

It’s going to be hard waiting until October to try everything out.