urban farmer

Pickle It

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I had some free time and our garden was exploding…I decided to make good use of my time and take care of all those jalapenos! We planted 18 plants this spring. I know, that sounds like a lot, right? Yeah, it kind of is a lot. Michael panicked though. Last year we had a bunch of jalapeno plants and we ate poppers and pickled the jalapenos and gave a bunch away. Mid-winter we actually ran out of our pickled jalapenos (which has never happened before). So Michael was determined not to run out this time. Hence the 18 plants (and the one random plant that turned out not to be a jalapeno).

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I picked a bunch of peppers and a few of the ripe tomatoes. I learned my lesson from last time I cut up the peppers. I used latex gloves this time! I ended up using the following recipe as just a guide. I think I tripled it because I had over 2 pounds of peppers. And that’s not even all the peppers! There are still tons out on the plants. Here is the recipe:

Pickled Jalapenos
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
From: http://www.simplyscratch.com/2013/05/easy-homemade-pickled-jalapenos.html
Ingredients
  • 15 large Jalapenos, stems trimmed {discarded} and sliced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 1 cup Distilled White Vinegar
  • 1 cup Filtered Water
  • 4 tablespoons Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Kosher Salt
Instructions
  1. In a medium sauce pan combine the garlic, water, vinegar, sugar and salt.
  2. Heat to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Once at a boil; add the sliced jalapenos pressing them so they are submerged under the pickling liquids. Remove the pot off of the heat and let them sit for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Use tongs to transfer the jalapenos into a clean jar. Ladle the pickling juices over top until you’ve reached the top of the jar. Let cool at room temperature before securing a lid and popping them into the fridge.
  4. I personally, would treat these as I would any opened jar of jalapenos. They should last a long while if kept refrigerated in the airtight jar.
  5. Enjoy!

I’m excited to try these jalapenos because I think doing it this way (instead of just putting them in a jar with vinegar in the fridge for months) is much faster. I imagine these babies will be ready to eat soon! Look at these–the color was already different than the way we usually pickle them. I used a ladle to get the liquid and pepper rings into a big jar.

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In the jars with the liquid and peppers are some peppercorns and crushed garlic cloves. I tried to put as many of the jalapeno seeds in there as I could. I let the jar cool before sealing it and putting it in our spare fridge. I planned on testing them every week or so until I know they are ready to eat. Who knows, maybe they will be ready right away. We’ll see!

The peppers didn’t take much time so I decided to try my hand at pickling some other things. Next up: red onion. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a really long time. I absolutely LOVE pickled things. No matter what it is, if it’s pickled, I’ll like it.

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The recipe I found was for quick pickled red onion–which was perfect because I didn’t want to pickle it and can it for real, I just wanted a quick version that could go in the fridge and be ready soon. This recipe claims to be ready within a few hours of making them. I doubled the recipe for the onions because when I weighed them on my food scale it was closer to 12 ounces instead of 5 ounces like the recipe says.

Quick Pickled Red Onion

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Category: canning, Cooking, Dinner, food, Food update, gardening, harvesting veggies, Low Calorie Recipes, Manual Labor, recipes, Recommendations, Review, Urban Farmer, Vegetable Garden

Servings: 2 cups

From: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-quickpickled-red-onions-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-193247

Ingredients

  • 1 firm red onion, about 5 ounces
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup rice vinegar, white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • Flavorings (optional):
  • 1 small clove of garlic, halved
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 5 allspice berries
  • 3 small springs of thyme
  • 1 small dried chili
  • Equipment
  • Kettle for boiling water
  • Knife and cutting board
  • Sieve or colander
  • Clean jar or container

Instructions

  1. Slice the onions: Start 2 or 3 cups of water on to boil in a kettle. Peel and thinly slice the onion into approximately 1/4" moons. Peel and cut the garlic clove in half.
  2. Dissolve the sugar and salt: In the container you will be using to store the onions, add the sugar, salt, vinegar and flavorings. Stir to dissolve.
  3. Par-blanch the onions: Place the onions in the sieve and place the sieve in the sink. Slowly pour the boiling water over the onions and let them drain.
  4. Add the onions to the jar: Add the onions to the jar and stir gently to evenly distribute the flavorings.
  5. Store: The onions will be ready in about 30 minutes, but are better after a few hours. Store in the refrigerator. They will keep for several weeks but are best in the first week.
http://www.110pounds.com/?p=43988

I’ve never par-blanched something before but it was super easy and I could tell the difference in the onions immediately after pouring the boiling water over it. After it cooled, I put the lid on tight and then shook it up a little to mix the peppercorns and garlic slices around in the liquid. I also added a little bit of red pepper flakes, but not tons.

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For dinner that night I made bratwursts with some sauerkraut (from Trader Joe’s–which is awesome) and I tried some of my pickled onions! I also roasted some zucchini in the oven with a little grapeseed oil, salt, pepper and parmesan cheese.

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My pickled onions were AMAZING. They were so good I couldn’t stop eating them! I even had some with a snack of crackers, cheese and tomatoes the next day at work. Love love love these onions. I will definitely be making more and will can them so I can make a bunch of store it in the pantry. Seriously, make this recipe!

Abelskivers!

On Memorial Day, Michael and I went to Broder for breakfast. It’s a place I’ve wanted to go to breakfast forever but haven’t tried it because every single time I drive by it, there is a line around the block. I’m just not the type to stand in long lines for restaurants. Broder is a Swedish restaurant that is very popular! The place we planned to go to originally was closed for the holiday so we drove by Broder just to see how bad the line was. I was surprised that there were only about 15 people waiting. The restaurant was going to open in about 10 minutes. Perfect timing!

We got a table. (The place was completely packed and when we left, there were tons of people sitting on the benches outside waiting.) Michael got an iced tea and I got coffee. It came with a little jug of cream–the thickest cream I’ve ever had. The coffee was pretty good but a little on the sweet side for me.

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Michael got the hash. It was potatoes, diced ham, roast beef topped with baked eggs and pickled beats. There was a side of walnut toast. Michael loved his dish. He said it was very unique. I had a bite and it was quite good. I also liked the walnut bread. It was so interesting and different! There was a smoky flavor in addition to the nutty flavor.

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I went with the Ableskiver (Danish Pancakes). It was something I’d heard about for awhile and wanted to give it a try. I was not disappointed! The presentation of both dishes was fantastic and everything tasted great. My “pancakes” were airy and light and didn’t sit too heavy. They kind of look like donut holes.

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It came with a side of lingonberry jam and lemon curd. The pancakes were light and had a lemon flavor to them, even before dipping in the lemon curd. The powdered sugar on top was a nice tough. What a cool breakfast! While I would not return if it meant I was standing in line for along time, I would happily go back to eat there. Perhaps going at “off” times means the lines aren’t as long. They also serve lunch and the lunch menu sounded delicious!

After breakfast we returned home and I went for a run. It was such a nice, sunny, warm day out and I didn’t really want to go to the gym. We’d gone for a hike the day before and while my hamstrings were a little tight, my knees and quads felt good so I figured a run would be ok. I used my Couch to 5k app and walked down the street to the school nearby.

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I really like running on the track and it’s nice that it’s so close. I know track running can be monotonous but it’s a million times better than a treadmill. At least I’m outside and I can feel the sun on my shoulders and the wind in my hair! My legs were a little heavy as I started the workout but they loosened up a bit and the run was decent.

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I ran 2.40 miles in about a half an hour and then used the walk back to the house as my cool-down. I was feeling really great! Michael and I spent the next few hours working in the yard. This was the calorie burn for my run:

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Really, we’d been working on the yard all weekend long, but still had so much more to do. We split it up between the three days because there was just so much of it. On Saturday I’d lifted weights at the gym, then cleaned the whole house, did all the laundry and moved a bunch of heavy furniture. Then we’d spent a few hours weeding and I planted tomatoes. Lots and lots of heavy lifting. You better believe my back was sore. I took it a little easy on Sunday but Monday came around and we had to finish the rest of it. More weed pulling, more chopping down blackberries, and then planting 18 jalapeno plants!

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18 jalapenos, 5 roma tomatoes, 1 cherry tomato plant, and a zucchini plant. We’re going to make salsa and spaghetti sauce (hopefully) and the zucchini was so successful the first year we planted it I know we’ll have tons of it. I plan on canning a bunch of the salsa and spaghetti sauce.

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I’m a little bummed we aren’t doing kale this year. There’s just too much to do with the wedding and stuff and we almost skipped a veggie garden entirely. My hope is that they all ripen BEFORE we leave for two weeks on our honeymoon! Cross your fingers we’ll be lucky with our plants this year. Last year wasn’t that great. I think our compost soil wasn’t ready for the plants.

Michael and I wrapped up the long weekend with a movie. We haven’t gone to a movie since we got Bella! That’s a long time for us. We used to go to movies a few times a month at least. I guess our priorities shifted. We didn’t want to leave Bella in her crate any longer than need be; we already feel guilty enough leaving her while we are at work. Anyway, we went to see Godzilla. There were a few ridiculous moments in the movie but overall it was quite good and exciting! So the long weekend ended with a good movie and an unfortunate sunburn…. 🙁 The first of the season ALWAYS gets me.