If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, you know that fermented veggies are not my forte. To be honest, the whole process terrifies me. Bacteria, breaking jars, botulism, did I mention bacteria!? I ferment almost as often as I use my pressure caner, which is never? Whenever people ask if I make fermented pickles, I tend to bullshit my way out of the question. Alas, it’s time to overcome my fear. What better to experiment with than none other than my 3rd favorite thing to pickle: cauliflower. Last Wednesday, I snagged a huge head of organic cauliflower from the lovely Lydie at Maple Spring Gardens. I find it pretty amazing that for any head over 2lbs they charge a flat rate. I sat on the cauliflower head for a day until I came across a recipe that didn’t completely intimidate me: Tammy’s fermented cauliflower recipe at One tomato, two tomato.
I decided to modify Tammy’s recipe a little bit by substituting dried peppers for hot habanero peppers, and mustard and coriander seed for several teaspoons of my trusty Happy Girl Kitchen Co. pickling spice. I have absolutely no clue how these are going to turn out. They have to sit for 8 weeks before I can taste them. So fingers crossed. I’ll be back in July with an update and review. 🙂
Holy crap people, Christmas is NEXT weekend! I personally am making a valiant attempt to not panic: over presents I haven’t yet purchased, holiday travel, holiday family plans… and/or things I haven’t done or said yet this year.. oh god. My strategy thus far has included eggnog… lots of eggnog… holiday shopping for myself, and keeping up with the usual farmers market-pickling routine. Year after year, especially this year, I’ve heard a few friends and family members mention, “Erin, I don’t know what to get you from Christmas this year.” My first thought is, “duh, shoes!?” followed by my second thought, “duh, have you tried typing pickle in to an Etsy search!?” I assume that because you’re reading a pickle blog that you’re the one in your group of friends that always receives silly, novelty pickle items during the holidays. I admittedly have three.. cough four… Christmas pickles currently hanging from my table-top tree (thank you ex.’s mom).
It is pretty amazing the things you can find if you Etsy search pickle gifts. A simple search returned: pickle pen (cute?), pickle pipe (yes, please), pickle necklace (kinda odd), pickle bottle opener (scored one of these this year!), pickle hand towels, pickle flavored chap stick (eww). Anyways, you get my drift.
Happy June! Welcome to the latest version of “Friends Putting up with Erin”. This past Friday, a fellow yogini graciously suggested that we pickle at her house. Little did I know, her house meant a little, old farmhouse! Clearly a sucker for old, tiny, somewhat impractical things, Morgan’s abode presented a magical pickling experience for me. Working with bellies full of wine, pouring rain, lots of laughter, and limited surface space, we crafted these sweet and spicy zucchini pickles. Morgan was not only prepared for a vinegar filled night of fun, but also for habanero slicing. Unlike myself… idiot, Morgan didn’t even think to NOT wear gloves while slicing hot peppers. Her medical grade bright blue gloves really added a cute touch.
“Erin, can you teach me how to pickle?!” Music to my freaking ears! Last weekend, my very first best friend paid me and the Lil’ house a 6 day visit. Albeit not much privacy (“it’s not like I haven’t seen your butt before”), the visit was awesome. A lot of yoga, a lot of booze, and a whole lot of rain. Perfectly timed with her visit, we tried not to let hurricane Joaquin ruin our weekend fun. As we were stuck inside for most of the time, we figured Sunday was fit for an impromptu pickling session. Using a couple pounds of red onions acquired from Hurtgen Meadows Farm in Hillsborough, NC, fresh tarragon from Maple Spring Gardens, and a habanero peppers from Four Leaf Farm we put up these beautifully colored red hot onion pickles.
What a whirlwind of a weekend, Mom was in town! Now that I live super close to my parents (~2hrs, the closest I’ve lived to them since I was 18), my mom is finding every reason possible to visit… Reasons thus far (1 month) have included: delivering a rug, buying wine at TJs, seeing a baseball game (I think she goes solely for the food- don’t you?), and lastly to help me decorate the Lil’ House. After countless hours of driving around to every midcentury modern store in the Triangle last Saturday, we landed at Alley Twenty Six in downtown Durham, NC. A dirty martini later and I noticed the pickle plate on their menu. No matter what the cuisine, if there is one thing I can’t pass up it’s a pickle plate. With a quick mention of the blog and pickle ‘pinon, food zealot Jonathan Werz hooked us up with an unforgettable pickle platter. Pickled items ranged from bread and butter pickles, to miso peaches, beet eggs, pickled peppers, pickled dark cherries, balsamic watermelon rind, and pickled green beans. I’ll definitely be making Alley Twenty Six a regular occurrence. Oh man, the cocktails, the the live music, the pickles… meet me there?! 🙂
Through inspiration from the pickled green tomatoes made by Greg at Get’n Pickled, I knew I was going for something spicy– the idea of using ginger sounded weirdly good. Depending on your preferences, you can easily modify the amount of habanero and ginger in each jar. While shopping for ingredients at the market last week, I managed to meet a new friend and score a few pounds of green tomatoes from Maple Spring Gardens located in Cedar Grove, NC.
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