“Wait, you have a canning blog?” David and I have become regular friends at the Durham Farmers’ market. “We’ve been chatting for over a year, how did I not know you have a food blog!?” David is usually my source of homegrown shitake mushrooms, so when I spotted this beautiful bounty of garlic scapes at last week’s market, I was delighted to finally feature Heeks Farm. As I wasn’t too keen on the texture of plain pickled garlic scapes that I made a couple years past, and having heard about garlic scape pesto, I knew I was looking to make something I could spoon onto meat or bread. Garlic scape relish, Yahtzee! A quick modification of the garlic relish recipe I found over at Fresh from the Farm, I spiced things up by adding fresh minced jalapeño and some cilantro leaves. Mustardy, sweet, and with a great crunch, I suggest letting this relish sit for sometime to let the whole mustard seeds mellow out. Producing 8 quarter pints of lustful green relish, what perfect item to trade at tomorrow’s Bull City Food Swap. 🙂
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.
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!
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