Strawberry season is upon us! Strawberry jams, preserves, pies, muffins, shrubs, jellies, pickles!! Where are you on the “ways I preserve strawberries before the peak season ends (3 weeks)” list? So far this season I’ve scratched off a strawberry shrub, some strawberry ricotta muffins, and now pickled strawberries! Last year’s strawberry pantry was a bit more impressive as wild strawberries were a plenty around the Lil’ House. Anyways, after wading my way through the massive farmers’ market lines last weekend, people were ecstatic for clear skies, I managed to grab my share of locally grown strawberries harvested from Lyon Farms.
I realize that I feature Lyon Farms quite often probably because they happen to always have the latest super hot thing that I’m trying to put up, plus they’re my local PYO farm. Last summer I spent many of weekend day dawning a big straw hat while picking berries at their Falls Lake farm. Due to camping, Mother’s Day, and the required garden weekends, unfortunately this year I don’t think I’ll find the time for a farm visit. Alas, there’s always time for playing with a pickled strawberry recipe. For my entry for the April FIJ Mastery Challenge I played around with a menage of balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, and strawberries.
“These are fall peaches, firmer on the outside, but sweeter on the inside… try one, I swear you’ll love them.” And I did, loved them, I swear. 🙂 Last Wednesday I picked up several pounds of locally grown “fall” peaches from the boys over at Kalawi Farms located in Eagle Spring, NC. Essentially my last opportunity to get some peach canned goods out this season, I’m glad I snagged up these stone fruits. In keeping with my savory peach jam tradition, I was playing around with a couple savory/sweet ideas. After a bit of inspiration, I decided to go with this rum and thyme based peach butter.
Initially I had planned on making a jam, but being a firmer fall variety of peach, the flesh did not break down as much as I would have liked. Impromptu, I decided to grab my immersion blender and turn this into more of a thick jam/peach butter. Low in sugar, with hints of thyme and demerara rum. Great with cheese and crackers, or reduced down to a pork glaze. With the Bull City Food Swap coming up at Beer Durham on the 19th, this rum & thyme peach butter should do just the swap trick.
Holy hell you guys…. I caught my kitchen on fire while pickling!! OK.. before you and my mom freak out, it may have been just a small scrap on the burner and the pickles are fine, but, nonetheless I caught my stove on fire! That’s like a right of passage for canners, right? 🙂
A couple years ago, an old friend suggested that I pickle green strawberries. What? Weird. It never actually came to fruition as I waited too long and said green strawberries became red strawberries… but I never forgot the weird, funky suggestion. Fast forward to this morning when I was working in the yard (my first raised bed garden, btw) when I noticed a hundred tiny, wild, green strawberries just begging to be pickled. Careful not to pick the large, juicy, almost pink ones, I managed to collect several cups full of green berries.
“That’s a very interesting perspective young lady…”. Thanks buddy! It was too dark out this morning to take photos in my usual spot so I decided to lug 4 full pints (on my bicycle) downtown for a mini pre-yoga photo shoot. Apparently my oh so hipster tendencies of taking Ball jar photos against a brick wall weren’t as stealthy as I thought. I was that girl crouching in a downtown alley being cliche as all get up… ugh. Anyways, as we move into Fall, I’m not only overly excited about all the edible colors, but about the fall foliage, photo shoot lighting, and let’s be honest, men growing beards.
If you read my bean post earlier this week you know that I attempt to never put up the same exact pickled thing twice. Several weeks ago, I was asked by a local journalist if I would be willing to do a pickling photo shoot/interview supplying my favorite canning recipe. Fresh out of the last jar of my pickled beets and wanting to showcase a recipe that I was confident with, I considered playing it safe and just reusing my Kickin’ Pickled Beet recipe. Oh! Their flavor, their crunch, and their pickle goodness… I went back and forth on whether to breakdown and remake one of my own recipes, but I’m glad to say that I remained strong and resisted that urge… My name is Erin and I am a pickle addict… As an alternative, I decided on this beet, carrot, and apple slaw recipe, which I’m actually very excited about (though my want for a spicy pickled beet is currently 10). In addition to the 2 pounds of beets that I already had from Wake Robin Farm, I acquired several more pounds of this ruby root veggie from Jeff of Orange Circle Farm at last months’ Seacoast Food Swap. I ended up going with organic pink lady apples for this slaw recipe as I was interested in a sweeter end product.
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