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.
Thank god that the downtown summer Durham Farmers’ Market is back in season. Not that I didn’t love freezing my ass off racing around the 2 hour only winter market with all the other eager shoppers, but…. With the summer market, comes spring and summer crops and man am I excited for the fresh bounty. For the past several Saturdays Lyon Farms, located in Creedmoor, NC, has been slinging asparagus like crazy. 3 bunches for $9. Yes, please. With the upcoming Bull City Food Swap I needed something to pickle, and these green, in season beauties did just the trick.
Out running errands for my new garden, I picked up a couple bulbs of fennel from the local grocer, sliced them thin, and voila… fennel pickled asparagus. Enjoy! Oh, I almost forgot… The winner for last week’s Ball jar giveaway is #6 Ali. Congrats, I’ll get ahold of you shortly with more details. Thanks to everyone that commented. Reading everyone’s favorite thing about canning reminded me why I can myself. Beautiful really.
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.
French novelist Marcel Proust famously wrote that asparagus “transforms my chamber-pot into a flask of perfume.” As somewhat of a nutrition nut, I’ve always found the body’s by-products somewhat fascinating. During digestion, asparagus’s sulfurous amino acids break down into unique pungent chemical compounds in most people. When the compounds leave your body in the form of pee you may be able to detect the odorous asparagus smell. Apparently only about a quarter of the population has the special gene that allows them to detect those compounds. So whether you’re lucky (or unlucky) enough to have this ability it’s still pretty interesting right? 🙂
Typically when I dream up canning and pickling recipes I try to stick with local and in season ingredients. I have been anxiously checking the crop harvest calendars for my current and future location so I know that this recipe is pre-mature by about 3-6 weeks. When I found these hearty bunches of organic asparagus during my routine farmers market/local food co-op pickling perusal last weekend, I knew I couldn’t hold out any longer. This super small batch of pepper & garlic pickled asparagus was adapted from Sherri Brooks Vinton’s canning book Put ’em Up!
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