Have I mentioned how excited I am that the Seacoast Eat Local farmers’ market is back in full summer swing?! Another year… another summer! Which means that my Saturday morning routine has finally returned to early morning yoga followed by strong black coffee and “market rounds”. While acquiring fresh pickling ingredients is really my main objective, I can’t deny how much I look forward to the social aspect of seeing farmers and catching up with friends… not to mention the decadent breakfast pastries and sandwiches. Yum!
With only 2 months left until my southward expansion, I’ve had to enforce a new rule: 2 jars max for pickling. Why? Because moving 800 miles with 75+ pint jars full of food is not only ridiculous but stupid heavy. What that means is that whatever I put up for the next two months has to be worth the tiny punch in quality, creativity, and flavor. Enter Jeremiah from Vernon Family Farm in Newfields, NH. This bearded chicken farmer, sausage maker, and mushroom grower just happened to have the perfect thing to fit my tiny bill: an colorful assortment of bite sized radishes. Paired with some larger radishes from Wake Robin Farm, I decided to go for a classic quick dill pickled radish. The flavor catch? A cinnamon stick and a 1/8th tsp of black onion seeds (kalonji) found at the local Indian market.
Dirty thirty? Thirty and flirty? What other things do people say when you turn that ripe old age of 30? Yep, today is the day, and I’d be lying if I said that I’ve had no anxiety leading up to today. Media and society has a tendency to paint turning 30 as a turning point in a woman’s life: “she should probably have her ducks in a row”… “after 30 it’s harder to stay fit”… “after 30 dumb life decisions should be avoided”… “her body begins to look like her mothers’”… and that “she is reaching her… cough… peak”! The past year has been pretty epic, tons of big changes, TONS of fun, and tons of figuring out what makes me tick/happy. While I don’t see my 30th year being all that different than my 29th, I do feel that I can chock the past year up to “getting it out of my system”. We will see… ha.
Last week after posting the first Pickle’pinon review, I received a message from Brendan Vesey, the head chef at Joinery Restaurant in Newmarket, NH, asking if I’d like to review some of their pickles. Obviously, trying to tone down my excitement I said, “SURE!”, and thought goddamn I love my hobby. It was a crazy busy week without access to a ride, so Wednesday I was finally able to make it over to retrieve the pickle goods. When I arrived they had put together a gorgeous jar of assorted pickled veggies (see photo above) for the purposes of photos and let’s be honest, tasting. If you haven’t yet tried the pickle jar ($3) from Joinery, I recommend you walk… no, run your brine loving ass over to the Newmarket Mills to give them a try.
My plan was to start this blog post by talking about the magic of everything rhubarb, but then I found this video!!! There’s no way that my words could faithfully capture its majesty, so you should probably just watch it. I’m a little disappointed in myself for not knowing about this viral madness back in 2013 when it was originally released, but being late to the trend is apparently my thing… I get it, rhubarb is pretty great, but WOW, troll voiced lady really really wanted that alley-side rhubarb.
Unless you drive a 45 year old cranky Volvo that you named “Pickle”… stupid really… the chances of being defeated by a pickle are slim. Of all the recipes I’ve put on this blog, I’ve only removed one: pickled fiddlehead ferns. It’s hard to remain unbiased when tasting my own pickles, but I figure that some people like different things so even the pickles that I’m not so crazy about (I usually get a second opinion) I leave up. The fiddlehead ferns that I made last May were an exception, they were horrible, salty, mushy, and just horrible! Fast forward a year to when I’m sitting at the bar at Blue Moon Evolution in Exeter, NH and I see sautéed fiddleheads on the menu… shutter. They were actually very tasty and the experience managed to negate my dissatisfaction with fiddleheads. Round two? Sweet fiddlehead pickles. Honestly, I had planned on keeping these pickles very very simple with no intention of recreating my previous mess. Who am I kidding, a simple pickle? Ha ha ha. Many online recipe suggestions and hours later, I pulled together a number of recipes as inspiration for these pickled fiddlehead ferns. Fingers crossed that this time I actually like them!
A fiddlehead is the tip of an unfurling Ostrich Fern frond, “quickly snapped off with the flick of the wrist by professional foragers in the wild.” Available for only three weeks per year (during the middle of May), they are generally harvested/foraged in the northeastern United States.
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