Happy Halloween! I may or may not be dressing up as a pickle tonight (check FB or Instagram for photos). Don’t worry I’m all dill pickle guys (sweet pickle? scoff…). I’m actually in Freeport, ME at a science meeting today sans gherkin costume… the chick with the ears and tale apparently didn’t get the memo. Even though I typically wait till the night before or the day of to pull together a planned out costume, Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. I’ve never really been one for risque costumes but more huge and obnoxious or costumes that I can incorporate in with my bicycle… or both. The plan for this evening is to attend the Portsmouth Halloween Parade and then to scoot over to the Polish Club in Newmarket, NH for a night of blues and mandatory dancing. What are you all up to on this witchy day?
Set to the Alice in Wonderland tune- “Happy blog’versary to you. To me?” Today Putting Up with Erin turns one! When I started the blog a year ago, I was in the midst of writing my dissertation and was in dire need of a creative outlet. I’m not going to lie, I’m kind of surprised it lasted this long… Putting Up with Erin not only allowed me to explore my creative side through “cooking” but also, and maybe more enjoyable, through photo, web, and graphic design. Many people have asked, “do you do it for the food, the blog, the comments, or the stats?” I continue to blog because it gives me the opportunity to learn more about seasonal foods, as well as the experience of going to the farmers market, meeting farmers, and getting creative with flavor pairings. In the past year the blog has survived a major life move, several flavor muses, and a handful of kitchens (thanks to all my friends who participated in Friends Putting Up with Erin). The fresh start that came out of relocating to the NE was probably the best thing I could have done for myself and the blog.
I’ve decided to summarize a few year one milestones for ya (it’s statistics… I couldn’t help myself). Through various avenues of online exposure, the 6 recipes highlighted below received the most attention in the first year. Total monthly site views have gone from ~1,500 to roughly ~19,000. Personally, I’ve been interviewed for a couple news articles, featured as a writer in the upcoming winter issue of Darling Magazine, and will be co-authoring a textbook chapter on fermentation next spring.
“That’s a very interesting perspective young lady…”. Thanks buddy! It was too dark out this morning to take photos in my usual spot so I decided to lug 4 full pints (on my bicycle) downtown for a mini pre-yoga photo shoot. Apparently my oh so hipster tendencies of taking Ball jar photos against a brick wall weren’t as stealthy as I thought. I was that girl crouching in a downtown alley being cliche as all get up… ugh. Anyways, as we move into Fall, I’m not only overly excited about all the edible colors, but about the fall foliage, photo shoot lighting, and let’s be honest, men growing beards.
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.
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.
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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