Seacoast Food Swap: March Recap

Seacoast Food Swap: March- Putting Up with ErinSeacoast Food Swap: March- Putting Up with Erin

While the Facebook RSVP promised high attendance… only a fraction of the swappers showed up to the March Seacoast Food Swap at BUOY last night. I owe last night’s success (and fun!!!) to the five swappers that trudged through and dealt with the parking situation in downtown Kittery, ME. Not only did the artPM show give us an amazing photo backdrop, but the staff and energy of the Black Birch/BUOY combo was exactly what I had hoped for when I set up March’s swap venue, and we hope to return to the space this coming Fall.

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Cilantro Pickled Beets- Putting Up with ErinCilantro Pickled Beets- Putting Up with Erin

Do you have a unique license plate that elicits you the occasional thumbs up or “What does the license plate mean? Oh, that’s funny, cool!”? The other day while driving on 95 south to MA and simultaneously trying to figure out the pronunciation of the various MA town names, I noticed some A-hole tailing me on the freeway. My initial response was something tame along the lines of, “Come on dude, I have an old car that doesn’t drive fast, get off my ass!”, but when I realized the iPhone in the rearview mirror, I realized this couple was simply trying to get a closer shot of my “Pickle” plate. I mean it’s hard to get made at someone for tailing you because they are trying to get a plate shot. I ended up waving at them, and slowing down enough so they could get the proper photo. I should really get a #pickleproblems bumper sticker as I’d be lying if I said this was the first time this has happened to me…

Beets! I’m at ‘em again. On a somewhat regular basis people ask me what my favorite thing to pickle is. If you’ve been following Putting Up with Erin for sometime now, you know that the answer is probably beets. Sure my screen name for various social media sites has to do with dilly beans, but when it comes down to it, pickled beets are where it’s really at for me. Typically I either roast beets whole or peel and then boil them, but to cut down on preparation time, I decided to peel and slice them raw before roasting them. Success, in that the desired crunch was still present in the end pickle product, and also the sweet roasted flavor came right through. I snagged a couple pounds of these beautiful local beets from the Heron Pond Farm stand, and the fresh cilantro and red onions from Golden Harvest Produce Market in Kittery, ME. To guarantee the strong cilantro flavor, I added whole coriander to the vinegar brine before boiling. This beauties were traded at last night’s Seacoast Food Swap. Enjoy!

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Dill Pickled Carrots and Green Beans-Putting Up with ErinDill Pickled Carrots and Green Beans-Putting Up with Erin

Happy Spring my fellow picklers/canners/jammers!! My first day of Spring, also National Happiness Day (!!), was all over the place: I woke up with the taste of Cool Ranch Durritos in my mouth, drank crappy hotel coffee, gave a 25min presentation, left Bartlett, NH, drove plenty out of the way to see America’s largest glacial boulder, listened to loud pop music while driving around New Hampshire, met up with some great friends, drank great beer, and checked out a new art gallery space in Portsmouth. The huge grin across my face while falling asleep Friday night was silly stupid. I know I haven’t been oh-so present lately, but do know that I’ve been keeping plenty busy and having tons of fun in other aspects of my life. How did all of you spend your first day of Spring? Looking forward to shorts and flip flop weather? Me too, though people keep reassuring me that “winter” is not quite over here in the North East…

I picked up these perfect little carrots from the Heron Pond Farm market stand and was in need of an alternative pickle option different from all of the other spicy carrots that I’ve put up in the past. I suspect the flavor and crunch of these dill pickled carrots and green beans will be fresh, spicy, and perfect for the March Seacoast Food Swap next Tuesday. Enjoy these pickled spears with crackers, cheese, and meats, or use them as a garnish to any spicy dill dirty martini rendition. Yum!

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A Cry for Help: Sauerkraut…

Sauerkraut- Putting Up with ErinSauerkraut- Putting Up with Erin

Historically, fermented foods have played an important role in the diets of almost every society throughout the world. Although initially utilized as a method of food preservation, fermentation also offers health benefits and a way to diversify the diet… GREAT… great if I actually knew what I was doing. Rather than going on about fermentation or providing a killer recipe, I’m switching things up and am asking for advice/book or apparatus suggestions/help with fermenting vegetables. A horrific smelling apartment korean kimchi, a small batch overflow disaster, and more recently a SUPER smart night of experimenting with red cabbage sauerkraut while three sheets to the wind (there was red ALL over my kitchen when I woke up), my experience with fermented foods hasn’t gone too well to say the least.

A couple weeks back I picked up a couple heads of red cabbage from the Heron Pond Farm booth at the Wentworth Greenhouses winter farmers’ market. After thoroughly consulting with plenty of friends, websites, and the book Wild Fermentation I figured a basic sauerkraut recipe couldn’t be that difficult.

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Sweet Spicy Radishes- Putting Up with ErinSweet Spicy Radishes- Putting Up with Erin

Breakfast cheesecake and sunflowers to start my day! Today is a new day (obviously) and I’m feeling a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. If you haven’t noticed (all my mother’s friends have), I’ve been a little MIA lately. Hesitant to share too much of my personal story here, but a friend suggested I try it, so here it goes. I recently got out of perhaps one of the best relationships I’ve ever had. It’s hard to explain, but the insecure feeling of moving forward is more than daunting as I no longer have that friend around to “have my back”. I’m learning how to avoid situations and adapt to growing in such a small area where everyone knows everyone’s business. Receiving condolences while in downward facing dog is not really what I had in mind when I decided to zen out that morning… On the upside, my lightened and brightened shoulders are starting to defrost (multiple meanings here) and I’m determined to get myself and this here blog back in routine. News of local farms starting their seeds, and writing for the local Edible edition is preparing me for the bounty of spring and summer harvest to come.

Last Saturday I walked the farmers’ market for over an hour searching for pickle inspiration. Nothing, nothing, and nothing. But then these brightly colored watermelon radishes caught my eye. No stranger to watermelon radishes, this lot from Heron Pond Farm in South Hampton, NH was more than beautiful. These sichuan style pickles boast tons of flavor and color. I recommend serving them atop your favorite asian salad or cold noodle dish. Enjoy!

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