Every June I receive the best FedEx shipment ever: 18lbs of fresh cherries. For the past three years I have participated as a canbassador for the Washington State Fruit Commission. Free fresh fruit… multiple blog posts… duh!? I deem the next few cherry posts CherryPalooza!
Up first: boozie cherries! Specifically, Luxardo Maraschino liquor soaked cherries. You’ve probably seen canned Luxardo “original” Maraschino Cherries in your local liquor store before. Like the store bought cocktail cherries, these are cherries are sweet, booze soaked, and oh so good. Unlike store bought maraschino cherries, these cherries only contain cherries, booze, sugar, lemon, and a few spices. No citric acid, no glucose, no other flavors! I slightly modified a recipe I found over at the Will Cook for Friends blog. I plan on using these cocktail cherries plus their liquid in homemade cocktails.
“Wait, you have a canning blog?” David and I have become regular friends at the Durham Farmers’ market. “We’ve been chatting for over a year, how did I not know you have a food blog!?” David is usually my source of homegrown shitake mushrooms, so when I spotted this beautiful bounty of garlic scapes at last week’s market, I was delighted to finally feature Heeks Farm. As I wasn’t too keen on the texture of plain pickled garlic scapes that I made a couple years past, and having heard about garlic scape pesto, I knew I was looking to make something I could spoon onto meat or bread. Garlic scape relish, Yahtzee! A quick modification of the garlic relish recipe I found over at Fresh from the Farm, I spiced things up by adding fresh minced jalapeño and some cilantro leaves. Mustardy, sweet, and with a great crunch, I suggest letting this relish sit for sometime to let the whole mustard seeds mellow out. Producing 8 quarter pints of lustful green relish, what perfect item to trade at tomorrow’s Bull City Food Swap. 🙂
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, you know that fermented veggies are not my forte. To be honest, the whole process terrifies me. Bacteria, breaking jars, botulism, did I mention bacteria!? I ferment almost as often as I use my pressure caner, which is never? Whenever people ask if I make fermented pickles, I tend to bullshit my way out of the question. Alas, it’s time to overcome my fear. What better to experiment with than none other than my 3rd favorite thing to pickle: cauliflower. Last Wednesday, I snagged a huge head of organic cauliflower from the lovely Lydie at Maple Spring Gardens. I find it pretty amazing that for any head over 2lbs they charge a flat rate. I sat on the cauliflower head for a day until I came across a recipe that didn’t completely intimidate me: Tammy’s fermented cauliflower recipe at One tomato, two tomato.
I decided to modify Tammy’s recipe a little bit by substituting dried peppers for hot habanero peppers, and mustard and coriander seed for several teaspoons of my trusty Happy Girl Kitchen Co. pickling spice. I have absolutely no clue how these are going to turn out. They have to sit for 8 weeks before I can taste them. So fingers crossed. I’ll be back in July with an update and review. 🙂
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
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