Imperial IPA Mustard: a strong and grainy condiment!- Putting Up with ErinImperial IPA Mustard: a strong and grainy condiment!- Putting Up with Erin

What’s more fun than spilling mustard seeds all over the kitchen? Cleaning them up while drinking the 10% IPA you bought for your beer mustard recipe. I’ve recently began experimenting with alcohol based canned goods; in doing so, I have found that the process of selecting the right beverage, experiencing the angst of the outcome, and then drinking the leftovers is sometimes more enjoyable than the canned product itself. While the quality of the finished product is ultimately what I strive for, if it wasn’t for the accidental spills, the burns, and the occasional mishaps, I think I’d quickly bore. Then again, maybe that’s just me.

At first (this might have been because I tasted it while it was still warm), the high alcohol content of Sneaky Pete Imperial IPA gave this mustard a pungent ale aftertaste. After setting for a few days, the sharp aftertaste has subsided leaving it with just a hint of a strong ale taste. That being said, I do plan on re-making this recipe with either a more subtle IPA, a farmhouse ale, or a hard-cider like the mustard recipe found here. When I think of beer-based mustard I think bratwurst and pretzels, and therefore I’ve always assumed that beer-based mustard originated in Germany. It turns out that beer mustard actually originated in the Midwest US during the 20th century.

What kinds of mustards or other beer inspired things are you guys making this season?

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Kickin' Pickled Beets- Putting Up with ErinKickin' Pickled Beets. SPICY!- Putting Up with Erin

In the past two weeks my hobby of pickling has resulted in one job offer, one phone number, two suggested friend dates, and several pickle samplings at various establishments around Baltimore. It’s exciting that my longstanding passion for pickles, now expressed in this blog, has lead to me making new friends of whom share similar interests in preserving and pickling food. In fact, I’m moving to the NH/ME seacoast region in a couple of months. If any of you are aware of any pickle/canning happenings please let  me know.

A recent addition to the local pickling scene, Tanner’s Pickles just opened in Remington, literally 2 blocks from my apartment. Not only does the shop feature sampling and sales of their own canned and fridge pickles, they also offer other local food products such as ferments, snacks, ice cream, etc. Inspired by Evan at Tanner’s, these hot kickin’ beets offer a spicy alternative to sweet pickled beets. Enjoy. 🙂

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As a mid-Atlantic transplant, cold Maryland winters signify harsh bicycle riding conditions, fuzzy coats and boots, and hot spiked beverages… hot toddies, hot spiked cider, hot mulled wine… must I say more? A fond memory of my first winter in Baltimore was when a good friend would come over on Sunday mornings with a canteen full of hot spiked liquid to snuggle and reminiscence over our weekend mishaps and relationship woes. I remember justifying our Sunday tradition as a cure for the lingering headaches from the previous evening.

Perhaps because I started this new jelly making hobby in the winter, or because I don’t have the luxury of access to summertime fruits, I find myself drawn to hot beverage inspired creations. I have also been playing around with the idea of a rye and cinnamon jelly (stay tuned). This mulled cider jelly not only fulfills my warm winter beverage tendencies, but it was quite easy and a somewhat foolproof recipe. This jelly recipe is straight out of the Food in Jars cookbook. For those of you who don’t have a copy of Marisa’s book, I have included the recipe below.

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Beautiful pickled red onions.Beautiful pickled red onions.

“Everything on your blog has been so brown lately…”. In order to keep the focus on local and in season food preservation, I must accept the earth toned winter crop doldrums… I can hardly wait for the first burst of spring color greens! Meanwhile, these pink pickled red onions will have to tide me over and appease all of you color hungry readers. 🙂 Originally from Down to Earth NW, these pickled red onions offer more of a pickle’y taste rather than the common sweet pickled onion taste. A versatile condiment, enjoy these pickled onions in salads, on hoagies, savory breakfast items, beans, etc.

If you didn’t notice the jar flare in the picture above, these spruced up Ball jars took the cake as my most creative Christmas gift. Painted with craft paint (I am not sure if it is food grade safe paint) these jars were a great gift idea. I think it’s time to kindle my crafty side and re-use this idea for gifts in the future.

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Crockpot Pumpkin Butter- Putting Up with ErinCrockpot Pumpkin Butter- Putting Up with Erin

Once upon a 2013 Christmas morning, resided a small, yet glowing, and almost sparkly pumpkin addressed to none other than “Putting Up with Erin”…. In addition to my gifted pumpkin, I also received a programmable crockpot specifically put on the list for the purpose of making pumpkin, apple, and pear butters. Combine, program on low, go to bed or forget about it for 8 hours and voila you have a butter plus an amazing smelling kitchen.. why not?! I remember the first time I was convinced to take a break from peanut butter (gasp) and instead try pumpkin butter on my toasted english muffin breakfast.

Unlike most items on this blog, pumpkin butters cannot be processed via home canning methods.  What? Why? I too was a bit surprised as I failed to notice the USDA warning before I started preparing this butter. When low-acid pumpkin and squash flesh is cooked down into butter it becomes very dense meaning that the heat produced in a canner has a hard time penetrating the inner contents of the jar putting the goods at risk for bacterial growth. To safely keep/store pumpkin butters you can refrigerate in an airtight container for 2-3 weeks or freeze up to a year before use. Enjoy!

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