For the past several years, February has been a pretty year changing month for me. I like to think of February as the beginning of my pre-Spring cleaning, and I don’t mean laundry, clutter, dust. I mean happiness, healthy changes, increased motivation, seeing things in a new light, and a hell of lot of good riddance. I’m not really one for the whole notion of Valentines day, if anything I’ve typically found that hanging with myself or with good friends rather than a romantic partner, on this particular day more my style. I don’t know about you, and I apologize if any of you feel offended, but Valentines day to me feels a bit forced. A day that people are expected (shutter) to go out of their way to do something special for others. Don’t get me wrong, I like to feel like I deserve to be treated like a princess just as much as anyone else today, but no more than any other day! Last year, I had great plans of romancing myself… I bought some way too strong beer, some fresh veggies for dinner, and had que’d up a great “dance in my undies alone” play list for the evening. Turns out a really good friend was in need of some company. The evening turned out in a way that was totally unexpected… I mean we expectedly got buzzed and danced to Kesha, MJ, and every other horrific pop artist that night… but what wasn’t expected was the message that the night instilled in me, “Wake up, there’s more for you in life than you can ever know!” So to that friend (you know who you are), and to all of you reading this, I give that message to you. Happy Valentines day.
Mustard, right… stop ranting Erin! But first, mustard seeds are the goddamn glitter of the canning world. It is utterly impossible to do anything with loose seeds without them going EVERYWHERE…. OK, this brown maple mustard is my first 100% brown seed mustard I’ve made. Brown mustard seeds exhibit a stronger more intense flavor of mustard than your typical yellow mustard seeds. As I was out of the yellow variety I figured I’d play around a bit: I first soaked the seeds in APV and apple cider, then threw in copious amounts of organic grade A pure maple syrup. The color and smell of this maple mustard is amazing. Enjoy!
“Thomas Jefferson was a total fox!”… Happy Independence Day y’all!
Thanks to hurricane Arthur my 4th of July was not spent at an outdoor BBQ nor were fireworks included in my evenings’ agenda. Instead the poor weather presented me with the perfect opportunity to hide away in a cafe, drink too much espresso, and catch up on emails and blog posts. The inspiration for this recipe came entirely from a jar of the über tasty Stout Oak Farm maple syrup. This syrup is a “sugar evaporation collaboration” from a variety of maple trees out of Brentwood and Kingston, NH. Aside from dilly beans, of all the things I’ve put up in the past year, beets have surprisingly proven to be the most tasty pickle variety thus far. Though not really discernible from the photos, I did actually use a mix of golden and red beets from Wake Robin Farm for this recipe. From the quick, albeit cough inducing brine taste test, I am sure that the combination of maple syrup and apple cider vinegar is bound to result in a sweet, buttery, delicious maple beet pickle.