A jam, or a butter, or a conserve? Honestly, I don’t even know. Do you ever have those food preserving (or cooking, or baking, etc.) moments when you think to yourself, “I have no freaking clue what I’m making, but… fingers crossed it works and tastes half way decent”? My sentiments Thursday evening when I was asked, “remind me again, what is it exactly that you’re making?!” While perusing the local farmers’ market last weekend, post yoga, hungry, and feeling creative, I found myself day dreaming of the savory flavors of the roasted onion jam that I made a couple years ago. Caught in that late winter come early spring produce limbo (i.e. no fresh fruits or anything close to resembling it), I found myself thinking, “aside from pickles what other preservation method can I employee this week?” I spotted a bountiful bunch of carrots and scallions at the Maple Springs Garden farm stand and thought to myself, “is carrot jam even a thing? hmm…”.
Sweet, tart, weirdly apricot tasting, and somewhat resembling something you may have tasted at an Asian restaurant, the set of this experimental jam shocked me when I woke up this morning. “Holy crap it worked!” I find myself torn over whether to call this a jam or a butter as the texture is more of a butter, but the preservation method follows that of a classic jam. Nonetheless, enjoy this roasted carrot jam atop toasted bread or savory crackers, paired with a mild cheese and salty cured meat.
Happy Spring my fellow picklers/canners/jammers!! My first day of Spring, also National Happiness Day (!!), was all over the place: I woke up with the taste of Cool Ranch Durritos in my mouth, drank crappy hotel coffee, gave a 25min presentation, left Bartlett, NH, drove plenty out of the way to see America’s largest glacial boulder, listened to loud pop music while driving around New Hampshire, met up with some great friends, drank great beer, and checked out a new art gallery space in Portsmouth. The huge grin across my face while falling asleep Friday night was silly stupid. I know I haven’t been oh-so present lately, but do know that I’ve been keeping plenty busy and having tons of fun in other aspects of my life. How did all of you spend your first day of Spring? Looking forward to shorts and flip flop weather? Me too, though people keep reassuring me that “winter” is not quite over here in the North East…
I picked up these perfect little carrots from the Heron Pond Farm market stand and was in need of an alternative pickle option different from all of the other spicy carrots that I’ve put up in the past. I suspect the flavor and crunch of these dill pickled carrots and green beans will be fresh, spicy, and perfect for the March Seacoast Food Swap next Tuesday. Enjoy these pickled spears with crackers, cheese, and meats, or use them as a garnish to any spicy dill dirty martini rendition. Yum!
Thankfully I can finally say it, “the holidays are over”! I had a rather low key holiday. I decided to stay home as Thanksgiving was a bit hectic this year, and a break from everyone and everything was exactly what the “doctor” ordered. I considered getting out for a bike ride or hike on the beautiful (50F) day, but instead found myself drinking and pickling these here root veggies. So… how did everyone fare? Get any pickling books, gadgets, appliances? I received a couple more pieces to add to my already excessive Le Creuset collection (thanks mom).
If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been slacking on pickle recipes and have been focusing my attention on jellies, chutneys, and mustard recipes instead. To be honest, with the exception of carrots, it’s hard to get excited about pickling turnips and other brownish root veggies. When I came across a pre-packaged mixture of local, no-spray root veggies from Garens Greens at Riverside Farm, I was instantly reminded of my summer-time jardiniere and figured because carrots, turnips, and radishes are amazing as pickles à solo, a winter “melange” à trois would likely be equally as awesome. Including beets to the mix seemed like an obvious addition here, but I decided to leave them out as I wasn’t trying to discolor the final product.
“That’s a very interesting perspective young lady…”. Thanks buddy! It was too dark out this morning to take photos in my usual spot so I decided to lug 4 full pints (on my bicycle) downtown for a mini pre-yoga photo shoot. Apparently my oh so hipster tendencies of taking Ball jar photos against a brick wall weren’t as stealthy as I thought. I was that girl crouching in a downtown alley being cliche as all get up… ugh. Anyways, as we move into Fall, I’m not only overly excited about all the edible colors, but about the fall foliage, photo shoot lighting, and let’s be honest, men growing beards.
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.
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