Spicy Pickled Pumpkin-Putting Up with ErinSpicy Pickled Pumpkin-Putting Up with Erin

You know those times when you go to your local farmers market, are minding your own business, and then all of a sudden you’re blindsided by a cute farmer/farmer’ess who convinces you to buy an abnormal shaped sugar pumpkin? I wasn’t planning to start pumpkin goods until after Halloween this year. Last Fall I played around with this sweet butternut squash pickle, actually I just ate up the last pint a few weeks ago. Without a particular recipe in mind, I decided to experiment with my Touching Earth Farm pumpkin in a spicy rather than sweet pickle fashion for this first run. Garlic, cinnamon, curry powder, and habanero peppers… if anything this spicy pickled pumpkin will be weird.

In other news, if you’re in or around Seacoast New Hampshire be sure to check out the upcoming permaculture workshop. “This two part workshop will focus on the fundamentals of the permaculture design process, observing and mapping a site. We will take you through creating a base map and the process of assessing and analyzing a properties many conditions.” For more information on the workshop be sure to head over to their Meetup site.

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Canned Chana Masala- Putting Up with ErinCanned Chana Masala- Putting Up with Erin

When someone approaches you asking if “you’d like to trade a 90 minute Thai massage for canned goods…” you say “yes, absolutely freaking YES!”. I’ve always surrounded myself with people who have trade’able skills/professions (hair dressers, yoga teachers, massage therapists, tattoo artists, etc.). Until I started canning a couple years ago, I never felt as if I had any skills of my own that I could barter with… “do need help some with spatial data analysis… No!?! “. My blissful, almost coma inducing massage not only left me in a intense state of relaxation, but may have made me a bit vulnerable and willing to give up almost… heyo… any of my canned goods. While she was super interested in some good ol’ pickles, I suggested that I could make something up. The original plan was to make a hummus-in-jar type of thing, but then I learned that tahini is not safe to can due to the oils. So with 2lbs of freshly soaked chickpeas, it was time for plan B.

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Salsa Verde- Putting Up with Erin

I’ll go head and apologize ahead of time for the nostalgic sentiment of any upcoming blog posts… I’m pretty excited about the 1 year anniversary (heck that’s longer than most relationships…) of this here blog (blog’versary?). It’s that time of year again when “canning season” starts to slows down and putting up in season, local goods requires a bit more creativity and effort than the obvious applesauce and pumpkin butter. As you’ve probably noticed, I’m not really one to make the same thing twice  (except for this salsa verde) so it’ll be interesting to see how the season goes.

I had no clue that tomatillos were a late summer/fall fruit, I always thought that like tomatoes they popped off during July and September. Yes and no depending on where you live; tomatillos are meant to be planted 75-100 days before the first frost. When my friend Elaine surprised me this past weekend with 10lbs of tomatillos that she picked from her garden I was ultra ecstatic. I had been waiting for these green husked beauties all summer, AND she said that “there will be more”! Last summer before Putting Up with Erin was even an idea, I came across some tomatillos at the Baltimore farmers market and made a rendition of this salsa verde. I had hopes of mixing it up this year, but I quickly found that most tomatillo recipes don’t pass the safe canning test (i.e. the low acidity of tomatillos- even with added citric acid- doesn’t ensure a botulism free environment). Not to be discouraged (tomatillo and pear jam will happen once I get a pH meter), I decided to put up some of this tried and true roasted salsa verde from Food in Jars. The recipe below is the same as the original recipe just quadrupled. It’s EXTREMELY important that you don’t mess with the ratios in this salsa for the acidity point noted above.

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Roasted Onion & Sage Jam-Putting Up with ErinRoasted Onion & Sage Jam-Putting Up with Erin

Onions!? As a kid I hated everything about onions… and peppers… and tomatoes for that matter. Spoiled and picky kid for 1, please. Thankfully as with most food things, I grew out of it and have learned to love onions. As I’ve been on a little bit of a roasted jam kick, an old flavor muse challenged me to a roasted onion jam. While it took me a while to pull this savory spread together, I am super pleased with the outcome (heck perhaps even kid version of me would have liked it), plus the sweet aroma coming from my apartment (I could smell it three flights down) after roasting the vidalia onions for an hour was amazing. This recipe is a modification on this sweet vidalia onion jam recipe. I decided to use apple cider vinegar but you could easily swap out the ACV for champagne or white wine vinegar (just make sure it’s at least 5% acidity) for a milder taste. What does one do with a sweet and savory onion jam you ask? How about pairing it with crackers/scones and goat cheese. Atop some bison sliders? Or better yet, and just in time for the holiday season, use it as a glaze on this year’s Thanksgiving turkey. I made tons of this jam, so if you’re interested in snagging a jar I’ll be swapping it at the next Seacoast Food Swap.

What’s new with you guys? Putting up any tasty Fall goods… pumpkins, apples, beets? Though a little late in the season (this depends on your summer temperatures), a friend of mine just surprised me with a flat of homegrown tomatillos. Yahtzee! Since the first time I laid eyes on the young plants earlier this summer, I’ve been eagerly awaiting the harvest of these husked green fruits. You can definitely expect some sort of salsa verde coming to a blog near you.

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Pickled Apple Rings- Putting Up with ErinPickled Apple Rings- Putting Up with Erin

Apples!! Guys.. it’s apple season. I remember as a kid visiting the apple cidery in See Canyon south of San Luis Obispo, CA. Specifically, I remember how cold the apple press room was. Pretty much every summer from that first school field trip till I moved away from the Central Coast my dad and I would frequent the various orchards searching and hoping for the tartest green apples. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but I’m kind of a nut about pick your own (PYO) farms. Last summer was the first time since college that I went apple picking… not surprisingly I went a teensy lot overboard (apple sauce, apple pie filling, port apple cranberry sauce, apple pie turnovers, apple chutney). Knowing that I had pretty damn big shoes to fill after last year, and because I was milking the last bit of tomato season, I was pretty OK with holding off on apples as long as I could this year… 2 weeks.

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Mojito Jelly- Putting Up with ErinMojito Jelly- Putting Up with Erin

Happy autumn! While yesterday’s high of 89F was a bit of an anomaly here in coastal NH, boots and sweater season has officially begun (for me). After just 5 months of living in Portsmouth I feel as if it might be home for a while… and by “a while” I might mean for the foreseeable future (woah, right? That’s kind of a big deal for me). The people, the culture, the beauty of the area/environment (hello fall colors) continues to amaze me in a completely unexpected way. That being said, let’s see how I feel after my first NE winter. I’m really trying to hold off for a couple more days before diving into fall time fruits and veggies, but as the abundance of apples, squash, and pumpkins at the farmers’ market grows so does my canning excitement (I just bought a vintage Apple Machine today!!).

A couple weeks back, we took a field trip down to the Boston Food Swap for the purposes of “seeing how they do it” and to get the word out about our swap. Albeit the Boston swap had a pretty different feel from ours: security to get into the building (glad we were on the list), free tooth brushes and mouth wash in the bathroom, and free tea, coffee, and beer on tap (that’s what I’m talking about), we confirmed that we aren’t completely screwing it up… whew! As a last minute effort to make something worthy of another city’s swap (I really had no clue what to expect) and because I had 5lbs of ripe to over-ripe limes that I needed to use up ASAP, I threw together this tasty mojito jelly. While I’ve been known to make liquor based jellies in the past, for the sake of a reliable set I decided to omit the rum this time. I probably should have let it set up a little bit longer than I did, but all in all the Boston swappers went crazy for this jelly.

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