Do you have a unique license plate that elicits you the occasional thumbs up or “What does the license plate mean? Oh, that’s funny, cool!”? The other day while driving on 95 south to MA and simultaneously trying to figure out the pronunciation of the various MA town names, I noticed some A-hole tailing me on the freeway. My initial response was something tame along the lines of, “Come on dude, I have an old car that doesn’t drive fast, get off my ass!”, but when I realized the iPhone in the rearview mirror, I realized this couple was simply trying to get a closer shot of my “Pickle” plate. I mean it’s hard to get made at someone for tailing you because they are trying to get a plate shot. I ended up waving at them, and slowing down enough so they could get the proper photo. I should really get a #pickleproblems bumper sticker as I’d be lying if I said this was the first time this has happened to me…
Beets! I’m at ’em again. On a somewhat regular basis people ask me what my favorite thing to pickle is. If you’ve been following Putting Up with Erin for sometime now, you know that the answer is probably beets. Sure my screen name for various social media sites has to do with dilly beans, but when it comes down to it, pickled beets are where it’s really at for me. Typically I either roast beets whole or peel and then boil them, but to cut down on preparation time, I decided to peel and slice them raw before roasting them. Success, in that the desired crunch was still present in the end pickle product, and also the sweet roasted flavor came right through. I snagged a couple pounds of these beautiful local beets from the Heron Pond Farm stand, and the fresh cilantro and red onions from Golden Harvest Produce Market in Kittery, ME. To guarantee the strong cilantro flavor, I added whole coriander to the vinegar brine before boiling. This beauties were traded at last night’s Seacoast Food Swap. Enjoy!
Set to the Alice in Wonderland tune- “Happy blog’versary to you. To me?” Today Putting Up with Erin turns one! When I started the blog a year ago, I was in the midst of writing my dissertation and was in dire need of a creative outlet. I’m not going to lie, I’m kind of surprised it lasted this long… Putting Up with Erin not only allowed me to explore my creative side through “cooking” but also, and maybe more enjoyable, through photo, web, and graphic design. Many people have asked, “do you do it for the food, the blog, the comments, or the stats?” I continue to blog because it gives me the opportunity to learn more about seasonal foods, as well as the experience of going to the farmers market, meeting farmers, and getting creative with flavor pairings. In the past year the blog has survived a major life move, several flavor muses, and a handful of kitchens (thanks to all my friends who participated in Friends Putting Up with Erin). The fresh start that came out of relocating to the NE was probably the best thing I could have done for myself and the blog.
I’ve decided to summarize a few year one milestones for ya (it’s statistics… I couldn’t help myself). Through various avenues of online exposure, the 6 recipes highlighted below received the most attention in the first year. Total monthly site views have gone from ~1,500 to roughly ~19,000. Personally, I’ve been interviewed for a couple news articles, featured as a writer in the upcoming winter issue of Darling Magazine, and will be co-authoring a textbook chapter on fermentation next spring.
If you read my bean post earlier this week you know that I attempt to never put up the same exact pickled thing twice. Several weeks ago, I was asked by a local journalist if I would be willing to do a pickling photo shoot/interview supplying my favorite canning recipe. Fresh out of the last jar of my pickled beets and wanting to showcase a recipe that I was confident with, I considered playing it safe and just reusing my Kickin’ Pickled Beet recipe. Oh! Their flavor, their crunch, and their pickle goodness… I went back and forth on whether to breakdown and remake one of my own recipes, but I’m glad to say that I remained strong and resisted that urge… My name is Erin and I am a pickle addict… As an alternative, I decided on this beet, carrot, and apple slaw recipe, which I’m actually very excited about (though my want for a spicy pickled beet is currently 10). In addition to the 2 pounds of beets that I already had from Wake Robin Farm, I acquired several more pounds of this ruby root veggie from Jeff of Orange Circle Farm at last months’ Seacoast Food Swap. I ended up going with organic pink lady apples for this slaw recipe as I was interested in a sweeter end product.
“Thomas Jefferson was a total fox!”… Happy Independence Day y’all!
Thanks to hurricane Arthur my 4th of July was not spent at an outdoor BBQ nor were fireworks included in my evenings’ agenda. Instead the poor weather presented me with the perfect opportunity to hide away in a cafe, drink too much espresso, and catch up on emails and blog posts. The inspiration for this recipe came entirely from a jar of the über tasty Stout Oak Farm maple syrup. This syrup is a “sugar evaporation collaboration” from a variety of maple trees out of Brentwood and Kingston, NH. Aside from dilly beans, of all the things I’ve put up in the past year, beets have surprisingly proven to be the most tasty pickle variety thus far. Though not really discernible from the photos, I did actually use a mix of golden and red beets from Wake Robin Farm for this recipe. From the quick, albeit cough inducing brine taste test, I am sure that the combination of maple syrup and apple cider vinegar is bound to result in a sweet, buttery, delicious maple beet pickle.
In the past two weeks my hobby of pickling has resulted in one job offer, one phone number, two suggested friend dates, and several pickle samplings at various establishments around Baltimore. It’s exciting that my longstanding passion for pickles, now expressed in this blog, has lead to me making new friends of whom share similar interests in preserving and pickling food. In fact, I’m moving to the NH/ME seacoast region in a couple of months. If any of you are aware of any pickle/canning happenings please let me know.
A recent addition to the local pickling scene, Tanner’s Pickles just opened in Remington, literally 2 blocks from my apartment. Not only does the shop feature sampling and sales of their own canned and fridge pickles, they also offer other local food products such as ferments, snacks, ice cream, etc. Inspired by Evan at Tanner’s, these hot kickin’ beets offer a spicy alternative to sweet pickled beets. Enjoy. 🙂
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