If you’re lucky enough 🙂 to follow me on Instagram you may have noticed that the week before last I was frolicking around the central coast of California. Half of the trip was for work and the other for play. Killing a couple days before my science obligations, I found myself wandering around Pacific Grove just south of Monterey. Looking for lunch recommendations, the lovely hostess at Crema suggested that I check out Happy Girl Kitchen Co. for some post yoga fare. “Awesome”, I thought, “cute name”. What she failed to mention was that Happy Girl Kitchen Co. was a pickle haven… I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t a tad over excited when I realized I just walked into a pickle wonderland, “wait is this a trick, where am I? Hello, God?”. While there I couldn’t help but snap a couple photos, order a pickle plate, and grab a few souvenirs, including a jar of their pickling spice. I could have purchased a jar of each pickle product, but alas I only packed one bag. I will admit that I typically skip pre-made pickling spice mixes as I’m not a huge fan of those sweeter fall-time flavors, but the smell of this one had me as soon as I twisted off the top. “We like our blend to be very savory and so ease up on the sweeter spices such as cinnamon, cloves and fennel.” Check out their online shop for more.
Happy Sunday evening everyone. What a weekend, eh? If you joined the 3 million people who participated in women’s marches across the nation on Saturday, then rock on!! Saturday morning after yoga and the farmers’ market I found myself quite anxious and on the fence about the idea of attending our local march here in Raleigh, NC. I wained back and forth on whether to attend or not and final came to the conclusion that what I really needed was some alone time in the woods. I don’t know about you, but trail running through the trees not only helps clear my head, but also makes me feel like an outdoorsy badass! Five miles later, and one hell of a sore knee (I’ve had IT band problems for years), the fog began to lift and I felt much better.
Ever try to pass up beautifully arranged flowers AND adorable lady farmers? Impossible, right?! I decided to support local pink this weekend by picking up a couple pounds of tiny radishes from Bluebird Meadows. A Durham based farm, Bluebird Meadows’ is known for their specialty cut flowers, fruits, and vegetables. Wanting to preserve the color and crisp of these tiny root veggies, I threw together a quick pickled radish with some thai basil that I found at the new Hmart, plenty of lime, fresh garlic, and some black onion seeds. Weird combo? Yup!
Pickled potatoes? Ain’t ever heard of pickled potatoes? Yeah, me neither! An odd thought in my mind… “can you even pickle potatoes?” The gent was adamant about pickling potatoes, but after a couple “back and forth” discourses, and several web searches I eventually gave in. I realized the reason I’ve never heard of pickled potatoes is because people don’t typically pickle (not can) potatoes. Why? Well, there isn’t really a reason to preserve such an abundant, long-fridge life crop. That is unless you’re an Irishman in 1845… too soon? 🙂
Anyways, going for a simple german potato salad kind of thing, we paired this quick fridge potato pickle with some sliced red onion and fresh carrots. Similar to pickled eggs, the longer you let your potatoes pickle, the stronger flavor you’ll get. This batch sat for 3 weeks before I started taste testing. Fingerling potatoes courtesy of Harland’s Creek Farm, a small organic farm located 4 miles outside of Pittsboro, NC.
Happy 2017!! What better way to kick of the new year and nurse the morning after hangover than with some good ol’ pickling. With black eyed peas and collards on the range, bursts of rain outside, and aromas of wood fired stoves burning around my Durham neighborhood, I figured I’d set aside this 1st day of the year to catch up on some blogging. I hope you all enjoyed your holidays. After spending several days with the folks, we headed down to Charleston to eat, drink, and play stupid tourists. Charleston was amazing. Impressed by the old culture, houses, and history that Charleston has to offer, I also found myself up to my ears in pickled goodies. Known as the 1st foodie town of the South, I was not entirely surprised when I found pickles on most of if not all of the menus. My indulgences ranged from pickled giardiniera at Edmund’s Oast to fried pickles at Bar Mash, and a tart and sweet pickled green tomato martini at The Grocery. After three days doing little other than eating and drinking, even this girl was looking forward to a detox diet.
The weekend before last, I visited the Carrborro Farmers’ Market for the 1st time. What makes Carrborro’s market different from the rest is that the actual owner of each business or farm is present at Market each week. So it’s basically as local as it gets! While the summer market probably boasts many more vendors and goodies than the chilly winter market, I still managed to score a couple pounds of tiny turnips from Maple Spring Gardens, a farm located in Cedar Grove, NC. I consulted my girlfriend Kristen who suggested an Indian flavored pickle (not like the ones I’ve sworn off). I decided to pair these lil’ turnips with some fresh turmeric, ginger, red onion slices, and curry powder. Enjoy!
As story goes, fennel is good for healthy vision and sight. I remember days past when hiking through the Central Coast California foothills, smelling the aroma of wild anise. Personally, until I tasted German black licorice, I always detested the smell, flavor, and sight of black licorice, commonly confused with the the flavors of anise. Turns out that the very wild anise that I was dismissing may in fact have been wild fennel. Wild fennel is apparently an invasive species in much of North and South America, South Africa, and parts of Oceania and the British Isles. Check out the USDA Plants Database to see if it’s found near you, cool!
Above the lower plants it towers,
The Fennel with its yellow flowers;
And in an earlier age than ours,
Was gifted with the wondrous powers,
Lost vision to restore.
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1892)
© 2017 Erin A. Urquhart All Rights Reserved.