It always makes me laugh when I see that my most popular blog post of all time is pickled eggs. Guess I caught that Sriracha fad at the perfect moment. Have you ever ordered a pickled egg (I’m not talking the marinated tea eggs you get at Asian restaurants) and found it to be bland, lacking the punch of vinegar and pickle goodness that you were hoping for? Me too! Pretty much every time. In my experience, when ordering a pickled egg from your typical fancy food establishment, it downright sucks! Sucks because they didn’t let it pickle long enough, or sucks because their vinegar to water ratio was too low. Fast forward to last night when the gent pleaded, “I understand that we live in a tiny house with a stupid tiny fridge, but why don’t you make some pickled eggs? Pickled spicy eggs? Oh, I’ll make them, can I make the pickled eggs?!” Once I reigned in his excitement, I suggested we pair fresh dill with multicolored jalapeño peppers and some garlic. To ensure that spiciness, we infused the brine with red pepper flakes first. Regarding time needed to properly pickle an egg, I have found that a healthy balance of patience and eagerness is needed. The first time I made pickled eggs, I ate them all within 2 weeks. I remember kicking myself thinking, “I should have let those pickle for like 3 more months.” With this batch I’ll try to keep my hands out of the pickle coop for at least 1 month. We’ll see…
Brinkley Farms got themselves a lady friend… and she’s adorable. You’ll often find me pouring over the southern hospitality and drawls of the Brinkley Farms market boys. But, this past Saturday at the Durham Farmers’ Market this vendor shot me a huge smile as I walked by. I instantly knew I wouldn’t be passing up their Creedmor grown okra. Fresh, green, and beautiful, I scooped up 4 pints to play with. Pickled okra, the perfect southern treat. Loving the flavor combination of the tarragon and vinegar, I decided to experiment here with tarragon and fresh dill. Herby goodness delivered.
Slimy pickled okra… the horror! In pickling okra there is always the fear of slimy pickled okra. Normally I don’t water bath process with the hopes of avoiding the slime. I was recently invited to participate as a judge in the upcoming Stone Brothers‘ Piedmont Pickle Pageant. Discussing the ins and outs of the contest, the pageant convener decided it was only appropriate that we do a little pickle tasting. First up, water bath canned pickled okra. I admit, I initially jumped to slimy conclusions. But, the texture wasn’t slimy at all and I figured, “hell, maybe I should try canning them again”. I present to you slime free tarragon & dill okra pickles!
It’s not every day that I pickle something as cute as mouse melons. By everyday, I actually mean ever… Second to maybe fiddlehead ferns, these fruits resemble superminiaturized watermelons, the perfect scale for a mouse-sized picnic, and were an absolute delight to not only come across but to also pickle. Native to Mexico and Central America, the mouse melon, also known as the Mexican Sour Gherkin is about the size of a grape. Honestly expecting them to taste somewhat sweet like a melon, I was quite surprised when I bit in and tasted cucumber. “Nope, I’m not a huge fan of these raw. Guess I’ll pickle them”. I had no clue what to expect when I picked up the last pint of these from Ever Laughter Farm last Saturday. As I’ve been going crazy trying to keep up with my garden bounty of daily cucumbers, I decided to extend my quick fridge pickle cucumber recipe to these little guys. I am looking forward to sharing them in a couple weeks and even more excited to grab a couple more pints at the market this weekend. Enjoy.
Happy summer!! I’ve been on quite a fridge pickle kick as of late. This is a bit unlike me. I’m not sure if it’s due to not wanting to pull out my canner during these warm summer days, or if it’s because this forces me to consume everything before my travels south. It’s likely the crunch and crisp taste of early summer pickled produce. Last Sunday on my way home I stopped by Applecrest Farm Orchards in Hampton Falls, NH and scooped (literally) up a pound of these shell peas plus a couple bunches of fresh herbs. They just opened up their PYO strawberry fields, so if anyone wants to join me early next week for some pickin’ let me know. That reminds me, blueberry season in the NE is almost here!
Have I mentioned how excited I am that the Seacoast Eat Local farmers’ market is back in full summer swing?! Another year… another summer! Which means that my Saturday morning routine has finally returned to early morning yoga followed by strong black coffee and “market rounds”. While acquiring fresh pickling ingredients is really my main objective, I can’t deny how much I look forward to the social aspect of seeing farmers and catching up with friends… not to mention the decadent breakfast pastries and sandwiches. Yum!
With only 2 months left until my southward expansion, I’ve had to enforce a new rule: 2 jars max for pickling. Why? Because moving 800 miles with 75+ pint jars full of food is not only ridiculous but stupid heavy. What that means is that whatever I put up for the next two months has to be worth the tiny punch in quality, creativity, and flavor. Enter Jeremiah from Vernon Family Farm in Newfields, NH. This bearded chicken farmer, sausage maker, and mushroom grower just happened to have the perfect thing to fit my tiny bill: an colorful assortment of bite sized radishes. Paired with some larger radishes from Wake Robin Farm, I decided to go for a classic quick dill pickled radish. The flavor catch? A cinnamon stick and a 1/8th tsp of black onion seeds (kalonji) found at the local Indian market.
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