Sweet Pickling Liquid: Bring water to a boil. Add sugar, let dissolve, then add vinegar. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients. Allow liquid to cool completely or to rest overnight. Strain out ingredients only when ready to use.
Pickled Celery: Place celery in a mixing bowl and cover with pickling liquid. Let sit for 2 hours. Strain off liquid and serve.
Spiced Almonds: In a saucepan, flash-boil the almonds for 30 seconds in boiling water. Strain them into a mixing bowl. Toss in powdered sugar until evenly coated. In another saucepan, heat 1 inch of oil to 275 degrees F. Fry a batch of the almonds in the oil until their color begins to deepen (light golden, not dark). Using a slotted spoon, remove them from the oil and place them in a second mixing bowl. Gently sprinkle the nuts with cinnamon, cayenne and salt. Repeat with a second batch of almonds, adding them to the bowl of already spiced nuts. When all of the almonds have been added to the bowl, store them in a zip-top plastic bag or airtight glass/plastic container. Let cool at least 2 hours before serving.
Series: Kitchen Conspirators Episode: High Society - Cuisine (Ep. 2: Part 5)