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. 🙂
Rather than rambling on and on about how I didn’t (again) wear gloves while prepping these hot peppers, instead I’m going to talk about how the magic of homemade kefir saving my pepper oil burned hands. “I’m a badass, I don’t need to wear gloves…” fast forward 3 hours.. don’t worry I remembered not to touch any of my bits… and my hands were on fire. A few years back following a similar pepper situation, a friend suggested I try yogurt for heat relief. With no yogurt on hand, the only thing that I had that would suffice was my precious kefir. So picture this: 1am in the morning, buck naked, rubbing creamy kefir all over my hands. Sexy? NO! I swear, if only I was a bug on the wall observing my odd behaviors… But the point here is that it worked. So there ya’ have it, yet another awesome reason to make your own homemade kefir (see recipe link above).
Quite surprisingly, this is my first pepper jelly. Surprising because I use hot peppers in everything. Perhaps the fear of the prep. process, or perhaps because I felt it would be hard to create a hot sweet jelly comparable to the stuff other people make, but after 3 years of routine canning I decide to just go for it. To keep it weird, I added some fresh ginger acquired from Maple Spring Gardens and cilantro (really just for the touch of green) to the melange of hot peppers found at the Four Leaf Farm market stand. What makes this pepper jelly a bit different is in the use of a specific bastardly-hot pepper: the lemon drop pepper… “a hot, citrus-like, lemon-flavored pepper which is a popular seasoning pepper in Peru, where it is known askellu uchu.”
Hello from a really really hard floor at Chicago Midway airport. The hard floor next to an electrical outlet… oh the pains I endure to bring you pickle goodness. What better time than a three hour layover to write about pickles and catch up on blogging? What’s new with all of you? Falling into autumn? I’d love to hear what everyone is putting up these days. The Durham Farmers’ Market is phasing out its peppers and beans and moving on to squash, squash, and more squash. I get that I live in the southern growing belt now and that produce is bound to show up earlier than I was accustomed to in New England… but butternut squash in August!? It’s like seeing Halloween candy in September, which consequently means that the beautiful days of summer are coming to an end.
Speaking of squash, can we talk about the curious green markings of these locally sourced squash… from Meadow Lane Farm, these Zephyr squash appear to be a hybrid of summer and zucchini squash. “Delicious nutty taste and firm texture. Straight-neck fruit is as attractive as it is delicious… High yields and plenty of blossoms so you can enjoy both fresh fruit & fried squash blossoms!” This time last year I put up a batch of pattypan and pepper squash pickles. Here I decided to mix these squash coins, a couple hot citrus peppers (Four Leaf Farm), some fresh cilantro, coriander seeds, and garlic slivers. OK. We are boarding… Till next time.
Ever since hearing about the beau’s trip to SE Asia last week, I have been craving ethnic foods like no-bodies business. “Erin, what do you want for dinner tonight?” “Asian, Thai, Chinese, sushi, Indian!” With an Asian flare in mind, I decided to play around a bit with curry brines for this here pickled kohlrabi recipe. I liked the idea of adding a coconut flavor, but nixed that idea as I wasn’t sure a) how the coconut flavor would come across, and b) because I wasn’t convinced of the safety of canning coconut or coconut sweeten milk. Instead (with the input from several foodie friends), I opted for this sweetish curry maple kohlrabi recipe. The amount of maple syrup that you add is completely up to you. I initially added only 3tbsp for 3 pints of pickles, but after tasting my brine decided to double the amount for a stronger maple punch. Eat these pickles straight from the jar, as an appetizer to any Asian meal, or sliced atop your favorite Chinese chicken salad. Kohlrabi courtesy of Heron Pond Farm located in South Hampton, NH.
Cherries wild!! Do you remember the days of everything cherry? When every bra, tablecloth, bathing suit, and rockabilly chick was a canvas for the iconic image of a cherry? I actually never went through the phase, and I think I’m more than OK with it. I instead went through the “put a Roxy sticker on it” phase. Cool kid status, huh?
As part of what I am deeming “cherry’palooza” this is the second recipe in a cherry series of three that employees cherries that I received as part of the Washington State Fruit Commission and Sweet Preservation Can’bassador program. This black pepper and cabernet cherry jam was adapted from The Joy of Keeping a Root Cellar by Jennifer Megyesi as well as from Home & Farm Sense. A sweet and savory cherry jam recipe that pairs nicely with a mild cheese and cracker snack. To save your fingers, kitchen, and definitely a lot of time, I would highly recommend picking up a cherry stoner like the Westmark pictured below.
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