Strawberry season is upon us! Strawberry jams, preserves, pies, muffins, shrubs, jellies, pickles!! Where are you on the “ways I preserve strawberries before the peak season ends (3 weeks)” list? So far this season I’ve scratched off a strawberry shrub, some strawberry ricotta muffins, and now pickled strawberries! Last year’s strawberry pantry was a bit more impressive as wild strawberries were a plenty around the Lil’ House. Anyways, after wading my way through the massive farmers’ market lines last weekend, people were ecstatic for clear skies, I managed to grab my share of locally grown strawberries harvested from Lyon Farms.
I realize that I feature Lyon Farms quite often probably because they happen to always have the latest super hot thing that I’m trying to put up, plus they’re my local PYO farm. Last summer I spent many of weekend day dawning a big straw hat while picking berries at their Falls Lake farm. Due to camping, Mother’s Day, and the required garden weekends, unfortunately this year I don’t think I’ll find the time for a farm visit. Alas, there’s always time for playing with a pickled strawberry recipe. For my entry for the April FIJ Mastery Challenge I played around with a menage of balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, and strawberries.
Do you ever come across ridiculous pickle products that you think were made for you? Me too! Last weekend while perusing my local Durham farmers’ market, I came across these temporary canning jar tattoos made by Tater Tats. Canned peaches, green beans, and tomatoes to be exact. I love it and I thought you would too. “Ten percent of all Tater Tat sales goes to support local farmers, and in turn, to deepen local economies, soil health, and human connectedness. Every purchase you make at Tater Tats helps make good food and good farming, work.” Tater Tats offers wholesale purchases and even a win a free #TaterTat instagram campaign. You can order a bunch of different temporary veggie tattoo packs per season of the year. These make great gifts, school handouts, and are a perfect way to sport your vegetable love! <3
Surprising news (!!), Putting Up with Erin has been selected as a finalist in the Indy Week Best of the Triangle 2017 for the best local-interest blog. If you love my recipes, my involvement in the local Durham food scene, or perhaps my pickle reviews around town, will you please take a minute to vote for me? Surprising (mostly because I’ve never really considered myself a local blog), taking photos of local farmers that I buy my fresh veggies from just always seems to make sense. Either way, the competition is stiff, but I’m optimistic and super honored to make it to the final round. 🙂
Quick pickles! Let’s talk about quick pickles and how I don’t typically make them… Due to the shear lack of fridge space, quick pickling has always posed a challenge for me. I’d say that less than 10% of everything I pickle bypasses my trusty water bath canner. That being said, there are a few things that even I deem fridge/quick pickle worthy: cucumber, okra, and the occasional asparagus pickles. You can’t really beat the fresh crispness achieved by the quick pickling method. I mentioned the word challenge, right? Enter left stage… this month’s Food in Jars Mastery Challenge: quick pickles.
“Shannon, don’t let anyone pick my scallions! I’ll be back next week for them!” Three weeks before moving out of the Lil’ House the frost lifted, Durham was showered with plenty of rain, and bam (!) the garden that I thought was otherwise dead, started thriving. “Crap, I’m moving, should I harvest them early? Or just let them go for the next renter?” Luckily I had a two week buffer before the next tenants moved in with plenty of time to harvest my goods. Inspired by the white kimchi that I reviewed last week from Durham’s Kokyu Na’Mean, I felt it only appropriate to try my hand, yet again, at food fermentation. I say that because seemingly I can’t ferment food goods worth shit. Liquid ferments? No problem? Kimchi, sauerkraut, slaw.. nothing.
Hey Food in Jars mastery challenge participants! Looking for something fun to do with those marmalades you all put up in January? How about using them as an ingredient in a cocktail? A couple weeks ago through a Instagram page I came across the cocktail blog Beautiful Booze. Reserving a little bit of my fan girl status, I admit that I instantly bookmarked several of her recipes. Not only have I found myself wooed by her blog layout, photography, and cocktail creativity, but also by the fact that the author is super cute. I was surprised by the number of cocktails that I could already make with the limited ingredients in my slowly growing home bar.
When I saw that Natalie’s breakfast martini sour recipe called for orange marmalade, the idea for this deployed goods post began. My plan included spicing the recipe up with a bit of my Angostura Blood Orange Marmalade. The result? An sweet and tart martini sour. Obviously delicious for breakfast, but enjoyable anytime of the day. Cheers!
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