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.
Happy Sunday evening everyone. What a weekend, eh? If you joined the 3 million people who participated in women’s marches across the nation on Saturday, then rock on!! Saturday morning after yoga and the farmers’ market I found myself quite anxious and on the fence about the idea of attending our local march here in Raleigh, NC. I wained back and forth on whether to attend or not and final came to the conclusion that what I really needed was some alone time in the woods. I don’t know about you, but trail running through the trees not only helps clear my head, but also makes me feel like an outdoorsy badass! Five miles later, and one hell of a sore knee (I’ve had IT band problems for years), the fog began to lift and I felt much better.
Ever try to pass up beautifully arranged flowers AND adorable lady farmers? Impossible, right?! I decided to support local pink this weekend by picking up a couple pounds of tiny radishes from Bluebird Meadows. A Durham based farm, Bluebird Meadows’ is known for their specialty cut flowers, fruits, and vegetables. Wanting to preserve the color and crisp of these tiny root veggies, I threw together a quick pickled radish with some thai basil that I found at the new Hmart, plenty of lime, fresh garlic, and some black onion seeds. Weird combo? Yup!
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…
Happy Autumn! How are you guys? Affected by the new moon and the flood of emotions over the past couple of weeks? Me too, big time! Sigh… Fall is my favorite season for so many reasons: bike riding, leaf colored clothing, and let’s be honest… vintage Pendelton wool. Secret is out, it’s true, I have an unhealthy addiction for vintage clothing and fall time wears. Great for keeping me cozy, not so great for my wallet.
Aside from clothing, I also love late summer/early fall radish colors. Pinks, off pinks, whites, greens, reds! My favorite are watermelon radishes, which will hopefully be popping up (see what I did there…) in a month or so. This past Saturday I came across the beautiful farm stand display at South Wind Produce. While I often find myself shopping with them for salad ingredients and my own home cooking goodness, I don’t believe I’ve ever featured them here on Putting Up with Erin. A shame indeed. The hospitality and quality of this little farm, located in Durham county (Rougemont, NC), is the tops. Grabbing one of each variety (Candle on Fire, Green Luobo, and China Rose), I barely managed to haul it all home. Radish greens sprouted like a leafy green bouquet out of my market bag!! I snagged a couple yellow Lemon Drop and cayenne peppers from Four Leaf Farm, mixed it all with fresh garlic and cilantro, and voila, hot pickled radishes. I must warn you though, they are pretty stinky… I blame it on the daikon variety (Green Luobo). Hope the folks at the next Bull City Food Swap don’t mind too much. 🙂
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.
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