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…
It isn’t often that I find a bigger fan of my pickles than myself. It feels silly to say it, but I think I’m my own biggest fan… obviously after my mom. Until recently I definitely thought this was the case, but my friend Abby has recently got me beat. This morning, with plenty of trepidation, we sampled my second batch of sauerkraut. After my last sauerkraut experiment and my dire cry for help (thanks to all of you for providing suggestions), I’ve figured it out and fermentation seems to be successfully underway. It’s been 12 days since I started this batch, and we both agreed that it needs more time. I plan on doing another taste test in a week. Following the general sauerkraut guidelines from the book Wild Fermentation, I’m hoping that much won’t go too wrong this time. To make the perfect mock fermentation crock, I used a 1/2 gallon Ball jar and a 1/2 pint jar to weigh down the contents. While this apparatus will do just fine as I’m still a novice fermentor, as things get more serious I would like to purchase a legit. old fashion crock. 🙂
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!
Hey everyone, sorry for being MIA lately. With the holidays, family in town, some pretty harsh deadlines (science), and the snow, life has been a bit hectic lately. Also, with our local farmers market series on hold during the summer to winter market transition, my selection of local ingredients was limited. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been having a hard time mustarding (my way of saying mustering) up the creativity for a second year of new fall/winter produce recipes. With the return of my long-overdue “canning hour”, I had planned on putting up yet another cranberry recipe (mainly because I still have 3lbs of berries left). But seeing that Thanksgiving has already passed, I decided that I would toss them in the freezer and use them later when one of my brown winter recipes is in dire need of some color.
Last night on the way back from a meeting at Redhook Brewery, I decided to swing by a local grocery spot to pick up some veggies for the weekend. I typically try to stay away from big-name grocery stores for my canning items, but I couldn’t pass up a 2 for $1.50 pomegranate deal!! So I bought 3 packs… but… then, when I got home 10 minutes later, I realized that I had forgotten the bag with all the pomegranates in the checkout line… damnit! I haven’t re-visited chutney making since my somewhat disappointing apple adventure last fall. I knew I wanted pears, pomegranates, and jalapeños to be the base of this recipe, but wasn’t really sure where to run with it. Luckily my flavor muse of a boyfriend was around to lend a helping hand. Ginger, red wine vinegar, dried currants? Yes, yes, and hell yes! Not only is this savory pomegranate pear chutney pretty amazing, but I learned quite a bit about chutney making during the process. For example, did you know that you can hear and see caramelization while it happens? Yes? OK, well I didn’t… Enjoy this tart and savory chutney with a holiday pork chop, or take it to a Christmas party for absolute all around enjoyment. 🙂
I’ll go head and apologize ahead of time for the nostalgic sentiment of any upcoming blog posts… I’m pretty excited about the 1 year anniversary (heck that’s longer than most relationships…) of this here blog (blog’versary?). It’s that time of year again when “canning season” starts to slows down and putting up in season, local goods requires a bit more creativity and effort than the obvious applesauce and pumpkin butter. As you’ve probably noticed, I’m not really one to make the same thing twice (except for this salsa verde) so it’ll be interesting to see how the season goes.
I had no clue that tomatillos were a late summer/fall fruit, I always thought that like tomatoes they popped off during July and September. Yes and no depending on where you live; tomatillos are meant to be planted 75-100 days before the first frost. When my friend Elaine surprised me this past weekend with 10lbs of tomatillos that she picked from her garden I was ultra ecstatic. I had been waiting for these green husked beauties all summer, AND she said that “there will be more”! Last summer before Putting Up with Erin was even an idea, I came across some tomatillos at the Baltimore farmers market and made a rendition of this salsa verde. I had hopes of mixing it up this year, but I quickly found that most tomatillo recipes don’t pass the safe canning test (i.e. the low acidity of tomatillos- even with added citric acid- doesn’t ensure a botulism free environment). Not to be discouraged (tomatillo and pear jam will happen once I get a pH meter), I decided to put up some of this tried and true roasted salsa verde from Food in Jars. The recipe below is the same as the original recipe just quadrupled. It’s EXTREMELY important that you don’t mess with the ratios in this salsa for the acidity point noted above.
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