Breakfast cheesecake and sunflowers to start my day! Today is a new day (obviously) and I’m feeling a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. If you haven’t noticed (all my mother’s friends have), I’ve been a little MIA lately. Hesitant to share too much of my personal story here, but a friend suggested I try it, so here it goes. I recently got out of perhaps one of the best relationships I’ve ever had. It’s hard to explain, but the insecure feeling of moving forward is more than daunting as I no longer have that friend around to “have my back”. I’m learning how to avoid situations and adapt to growing in such a small area where everyone knows everyone’s business. Receiving condolences while in downward facing dog is not really what I had in mind when I decided to zen out that morning… On the upside, my lightened and brightened shoulders are starting to defrost (multiple meanings here) and I’m determined to get myself and this here blog back in routine. News of local farms starting their seeds, and writing for the local Edible edition is preparing me for the bounty of spring and summer harvest to come.
Last Saturday I walked the farmers’ market for over an hour searching for pickle inspiration. Nothing, nothing, and nothing. But then these brightly colored watermelon radishes caught my eye. No stranger to watermelon radishes, this lot from Heron Pond Farm in South Hampton, NH was more than beautiful. These sichuan style pickles boast tons of flavor and color. I recommend serving them atop your favorite asian salad or cold noodle dish. Enjoy!
‘Tis the season for booze infooozed jellies! With little-to-no local in-season fruits in New Hampshire, I was forced to resort to alcohol. Hard life, right? The other evening while rushing around the grocery store for canning ingredients I completely forgot my bag of 6 pomegranates in the check out aisle. To ensure that I wasn’t loosing my mind, I called customer service before I made the trip back to the store at 9pm, and they confirmed my forgetful fate. I figured that maybe it was a sign and that there was probably a reason for my forgetfulness: Ball Jars and liquid pectin! On my second trip through the check out aisle, the manager asked what I was making, which led to the mention of the blog, which in turn led to the manager not charging me for any of my canning supplies. “I feel bad that you had to drive back down here (mind you it was my own damn fault), so these are a gift from me because you have a great blog!” What? Who does that? Thus deeming Portsmouth, NH grocery stores the friendliest I’ve ever encountered (a cashier at Trader Joe’s once gave me a free house warming plant).
You know bubble-wrap? You know the satisfaction of slowly popping bubble-wrap? Of course you do, who doesn’t!? My impatience in waiting for cranberries to pop and prematurely popping them with the back of a spatula is almost as good as popping bubble-wrap. I think someone (OK, I may have gifted it to myself) actually bought me a 6 foot roll of bubble-wrap for Christmas one year.
With 3lbs of Sugar Hill Cranberry Co. cranberries left, I’ve been getting creative with my canning ideas, cranberry jalapeño jelly, seen it, cranberry pear chutney, seen it (though I am interested in trying it), cranberry banana jam? Yum! That being said, if anyone has any suggestions… Today’s post sounds a little bit weird, right? “Banana jam? Isn’t that just going to turn into a mush of brown?” Quite the opposite actually, this jam is a mush of beautiful light cranberry colors. The tart and sweet flavors of the cranberries complement the banana flavors perfectly. With the option of adding in the pre-steeped cinnamon sticks and water, I think the taste of banana notes are amazing. Serve this jam atop a sweat biscotti, with almond butter for a AB&J sando, or with your overnight oats breakfast.
Waking up locked in a cranberry bog was something I never expected to scratch off my “done it” list, but thanks to hectic & rainy trip out to the Cape last month, I can say it’s been done. While it makes for a pretty awesome story (obviously), our intentions (honestly) were not to sleep in a bog. As with most of our sporadic trips, we started driving south with no resting place in mind. Navigator Erin to the rescue! Or so we thought… I thought I had found a cheap’ish, no minimum night stay campground to pitch a tent at, but alas by the time we arrived, the gates were already closed and our next best option was sneaking down a dark dirt road with the hopes of no one kicking us out during our slumber. The best part about arriving somewhere after the sun goes down is waking up the next morning and thinking “WOW, look where we landed… a freaking cranberry bog!!” Had it not been for our little oops moment, I wouldn’t have known that cranberries 1) were grown in bogs, and 2) grown on Cape Cod.
Last November I successfully made my first really GOOD cranberry sauce. Much like this recipe, it was booze infuzed (ruby red port) which led to a fun evening… “the recipe only calls for a cup and a half of booze… what to do with the rest of it…”. I’ve already talked about my opinions of girls drinking whiskey (badass) so I won’t get into it here, but I had half a bottle of bourbon let over after the honey bourbon mustard I made earlier this week. With 5lbs of local Maine cranberries from Sugar Hill Cranberry Co, I figured it was time to get going on this year’s cranberry creations.
Happy Halloween! I may or may not be dressing up as a pickle tonight (check FB or Instagram for photos). Don’t worry I’m all dill pickle guys (sweet pickle? scoff…). I’m actually in Freeport, ME at a science meeting today sans gherkin costume… the chick with the ears and tale apparently didn’t get the memo. Even though I typically wait till the night before or the day of to pull together a planned out costume, Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. I’ve never really been one for risque costumes but more huge and obnoxious or costumes that I can incorporate in with my bicycle… or both. The plan for this evening is to attend the Portsmouth Halloween Parade and then to scoot over to the Polish Club in Newmarket, NH for a night of blues and mandatory dancing. What are you all up to on this witchy day?
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