Happy Sunday evening everyone. What a weekend, eh? If you joined the 3 million people who participated in women’s marches across the nation on Saturday, then rock on!! Saturday morning after yoga and the farmers’ market I found myself quite anxious and on the fence about the idea of attending our local march here in Raleigh, NC. I wained back and forth on whether to attend or not and final came to the conclusion that what I really needed was some alone time in the woods. I don’t know about you, but trail running through the trees not only helps clear my head, but also makes me feel like an outdoorsy badass! Five miles later, and one hell of a sore knee (I’ve had IT band problems for years), the fog began to lift and I felt much better.
Ever try to pass up beautifully arranged flowers AND adorable lady farmers? Impossible, right?! I decided to support local pink this weekend by picking up a couple pounds of tiny radishes from Bluebird Meadows. A Durham based farm, Bluebird Meadows’ is known for their specialty cut flowers, fruits, and vegetables. Wanting to preserve the color and crisp of these tiny root veggies, I threw together a quick pickled radish with some thai basil that I found at the new Hmart, plenty of lime, fresh garlic, and some black onion seeds. Weird combo? Yup!
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. 🙂
Have I mentioned how excited I am that the Seacoast Eat Local farmers’ market is back in full summer swing?! Another year… another summer! Which means that my Saturday morning routine has finally returned to early morning yoga followed by strong black coffee and “market rounds”. While acquiring fresh pickling ingredients is really my main objective, I can’t deny how much I look forward to the social aspect of seeing farmers and catching up with friends… not to mention the decadent breakfast pastries and sandwiches. Yum!
With only 2 months left until my southward expansion, I’ve had to enforce a new rule: 2 jars max for pickling. Why? Because moving 800 miles with 75+ pint jars full of food is not only ridiculous but stupid heavy. What that means is that whatever I put up for the next two months has to be worth the tiny punch in quality, creativity, and flavor. Enter Jeremiah from Vernon Family Farm in Newfields, NH. This bearded chicken farmer, sausage maker, and mushroom grower just happened to have the perfect thing to fit my tiny bill: an colorful assortment of bite sized radishes. Paired with some larger radishes from Wake Robin Farm, I decided to go for a classic quick dill pickled radish. The flavor catch? A cinnamon stick and a 1/8th tsp of black onion seeds (kalonji) found at the local Indian market.
Breakfast cheesecake and sunflowers to start my day! Today is a new day (obviously) and I’m feeling a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. If you haven’t noticed (all my mother’s friends have), I’ve been a little MIA lately. Hesitant to share too much of my personal story here, but a friend suggested I try it, so here it goes. I recently got out of perhaps one of the best relationships I’ve ever had. It’s hard to explain, but the insecure feeling of moving forward is more than daunting as I no longer have that friend around to “have my back”. I’m learning how to avoid situations and adapt to growing in such a small area where everyone knows everyone’s business. Receiving condolences while in downward facing dog is not really what I had in mind when I decided to zen out that morning… On the upside, my lightened and brightened shoulders are starting to defrost (multiple meanings here) and I’m determined to get myself and this here blog back in routine. News of local farms starting their seeds, and writing for the local Edible edition is preparing me for the bounty of spring and summer harvest to come.
Last Saturday I walked the farmers’ market for over an hour searching for pickle inspiration. Nothing, nothing, and nothing. But then these brightly colored watermelon radishes caught my eye. No stranger to watermelon radishes, this lot from Heron Pond Farm in South Hampton, NH was more than beautiful. These sichuan style pickles boast tons of flavor and color. I recommend serving them atop your favorite asian salad or cold noodle dish. Enjoy!
Thankfully I can finally say it, “the holidays are over”! I had a rather low key holiday. I decided to stay home as Thanksgiving was a bit hectic this year, and a break from everyone and everything was exactly what the “doctor” ordered. I considered getting out for a bike ride or hike on the beautiful (50F) day, but instead found myself drinking and pickling these here root veggies. So… how did everyone fare? Get any pickling books, gadgets, appliances? I received a couple more pieces to add to my already excessive Le Creuset collection (thanks mom).
If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been slacking on pickle recipes and have been focusing my attention on jellies, chutneys, and mustard recipes instead. To be honest, with the exception of carrots, it’s hard to get excited about pickling turnips and other brownish root veggies. When I came across a pre-packaged mixture of local, no-spray root veggies from Garens Greens at Riverside Farm, I was instantly reminded of my summer-time jardiniere and figured because carrots, turnips, and radishes are amazing as pickles à solo, a winter “melange” à trois would likely be equally as awesome. Including beets to the mix seemed like an obvious addition here, but I decided to leave them out as I wasn’t trying to discolor the final product.
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