As it turns out, Putting Up with Erin takes on a whole other punning meaning this week. As I mentioned before, I am currently in the limbo of moving which means I’ve found myself jumping, biking, and bouncing around Baltimore. To keep the blog active amidst all my craziness, I figured I’d shlep my canning pot around and try some “Putting Up with Friends”. This week’s Putting Up with Friends post comes to you from my gracious office mate’s kitchen in northern Baltimore. The second I walked into her huge, well stocked, well lit, and wine laden kitchen, I realized that this was going to be much more fun than canning all by my lonesome.
I came across the idea for pickled pineapple chunks at one of my favorite restaurants in Baltimore, the Corner BYOB. They served this pickle with a few other varieties on their house cheese and charcuterie board. I played around with the idea and opted for a sweeter spiced pickled pineapple (say that 5 times fast…) recipe. Depending on your preference, you can start with a slightly unripe pineapple for a more tart pickle, or wait like I did for it to ripen up for a sweeter pickle. This super easy pineapple pickle would go great with BBQ, pineapple scones, or as I discovered last night some red wine or whiskey. Enjoy!
For all my fellow fermentation freaks, here’s a really easy and somewhat quick carrot and cabbage kimchi recipe. A few months back I experimented with my first daikon radish and cabbage kimchi, the taste was OK (as long as I ate it with something else), but the smell was a bit unbearable. I’m really not sure where it all went wrong, but I ended up having to toss a couple pints. In the meantime, I’ve been feeding my kimchi desires with small batches of Trader Joe’s kimchi, but alas I couldn’t hold out any longer. I came across this recipe at the Healthy Green Kitchen, and figured with less, yet more attainable, ingredients I’d give homemade kimchi a second chance… So far so good, this batch has been fermenting on a shelf at room temperature for 4 days now. I plan on waiting just a couple more days to assure that the lactic acid bacteria are fat and happy.
As we are currently smack dab in the middle of this year’s Mardi Gras festivities, I figured some creole inspired black eyed peas would be quite appropriate. This time 2 years ago, give or take a couple weeks, I spent some time in New Orleans. While I was officially in town for a conference, the majority of my time was spent riding a very small and very uncomfortable beach cruiser around town, eating a lot of amazing food, attending yoga classes, and enjoying the “shorts and tank top weather” during February. At the time, I had recently began experimenting with a vegan, gluten-free lifestyle. I’m no longer vegan or gluten-free, but boy can I tell you, NOLA proved the short lived attempt REAL challenging. Even though I avoided the classic muffuletta sub, and the much desired seafood of the region, I suprisingly ate like a vegan queen during my visit. As you’ve probably noticed me mention it here before, I really like beans, like a lot.. or so I thought until I observed my host’s bean tendencies. Not only did this girl like beans, but I’m pretty sure I saw her eat them each and every day I was in town… Amazing really!
I’ve always considered myself somewhat of a wine newbie. I really enjoy wine and drink it on a somewhat regular basis, but I do feel that the “wino” label should be reserved for those who can appreciate wine for more than just its color. When I finally started drinking wine, albeit after 4 years of living in Sonoma on top of spending a semester abroad in France, I like many others fell for the chilled sweet essence of white wine. Easy to drink, tastes like candy, and feels like summer.
Marisa from Food in Jars recently blogged a post about achieving an ideal gel set using a thermometer. I had been using the saucer and sheet tests to determine gel set, but neither of those methods were delivering reliable results. I figured I’d give the thermometer method a try with the hope that I’d see more consistent optimal jelly sets. Aside from it feeling more like science… the benefit of using a thermometer in jelly/jam/marmalade making is that the gel set can be determined based on internal temperature. At 220° Fahrenheit, sugar reaches its gel point to which it undergoes a physical transformation and thickens to the desired spreadable consistency. I had to calibrate my new thermometer first by testing it in boiling water, but overall the method proved most effective.
On the night of December 21, 2006 I arrived in Glasgow, Scotland. Young, American, and excited to connect with the romantic stories of my Scottish ancestors. I decided to try couch-surfing for the first time, which resulted in staying in a not so romantic flat near Kelvingrove Park with three not so romantic Scotsmen. Being the holidays, we attended holiday party night after night, experiencing the tradition of Christmas crackers and a lot of drunken “I can’t understand a word these English speaking guys are saying”. On my last night in town, two nights before Christmas day, we ended up at a potluck, I can’t remember for the life of me what I brought (probably beer), but I do remember the highlight of the feast, roasted brussels sprouts. I had never tasted brussels sprouts before that night, but the host insisted that I try some because “I was never going to taste brussels sprouts like those again”. Like the first time I tasted a tomato fresh off the vine, these brussels sprouts were one of the culinary experiences I will never forget. Enough of my reminiscing, onto the recipe!
My parents can confirm that as a kid I hated everything about mustard. I was stead fast to ketchup and nothing but ketchup (and pickles) on my burgers. No matter how picky of an eater, I feel as if everyone has a list of things they hated as a child but love as an adult. While I’m still a bit iffy on straight up yellow mustard, I’ve slowly came around and have been able to scratch grain mustard off my list. A little over a month ago, I made my first homemade batch of Imperial IPA mustard. Being what it was, the three half pints were gone within days and I was in need of another alcohol based mustard recipe. I came across this hard cider mustard on My Homespun Home and decided to give it a try using a hard blackberry pear cider. Because I was intentionally going for a sweeter mustard this time around, I opted for, and increased the amount of brown sugar in this recipe.