this adventure in food blogging will be four months old tomorrow. today wordpress informed me i have published my fiftieth post, i.e. recipe, so i say i’m not doing too bad sharing my kitchen with you. that works out to about a post every two and a half days (though we know in reality i post like mad on the weekends and am eerily silent during the weekdays).
initially i thought starting a food blog would be primarily about sharing my recipes with you. i recently was updating some html codes in earlier posts to make them all coherent (something i have learned much about since june) and i realized i wasn’t much of a sharer—a couple paragraphs about the recipe and onto the directions! now share my day, my stolen bike, my awesome farmer’s market buys, and now the fruit fly problem at our house that has persisted into october! (what?!)
there are a few other things i’ve learned about food blogging as i’ve skimmed the surface of this world (in no particular order). hopefully in time i’ll get into the thick of it.
today the alaskan and portlandian in me converged. i put on my xtra-tuffs and rain gear to bike down to the farmer’s market. but not just to shop around for groceries, i had a mission to get as many pickling cucumbers as i could.
i ended up biking home with six pounds of little cukes ready to turn into pickles. i’m sorry this recipe is coming so late in the year with cucumber season at its end. finding these cukes was a challenge as there was only one booth that was selling them and i took their whole stash. but never fear, you can use the widely available english cucumbers to make spears or chips if the tiny variety isn’t available to you.
i hope that you all by now have had the privilege of eating a bubbie’s pickle. they are by far the best pickle out there on the market. i’m not sure why but it might have to do with the fact that rather than using the quick pickling method of using vinegar, these pickles go old school and are fermented. the bonus is that your pickled will be among the best you have ever eaten, maybe even better than bubbie’s. the negative is that is takes at least a couple weeks until you can eat them. but it’s worth every second. you can also try them along their journey and choose when they are just right, participating in your little science experiment.
if you’re like me when you want to try a new recipe you just go for it. sometimes this makes for a delicious meal. other times it is a massive failure.
the first time i tried to make hash browns it was the massive failure type attempt. i figured all you have to do is grate some potatoes and throw them in a skillet with oil. close, but not close at all.
a quick google search showed me the key mistake i made, squeezing out the moisture. you can’t have crispy potatoes if they keep oozing their potato juice out into the pan. its why country potatoes don’t taste like hash browns, duh.
i feel like i need to be getting into fall foods. winter squash has appeared at the markets and stone fruit is getting scarcer and scarcer. the problem is its 70 degrees and sunny. maybe this is a normal fall for some people out there but in oregon we should be weeks deep in rain; instead we are dealing with a drought. yes, a drought in the famed rainy northwest.
this soup comes straight from my mom’s kitchen. it was one of the first recipes i asked for when i was out of the dorms with my own kitchen while i was off in college. mom’s version is fully vegan and delicious but just a tiny bit of cream goes a long way in this soup so i will often add it though the potatoes on their own make it pretty creamy to begin with. best of all it only has six ingredients (counting the cream) and only requires a bit of your attention that you can use to make bread, green beans, or whatever you’d like to serve with this. or use the time to sit down and relax because this soup can easily stand alone or just be served with some crackers.
like most other children, i used to hate eggplant. i continued doing so until i worked in a tapas restaurant in high school where they served the most delicious breaded eggplant covered with marinara and alfredo sauces. i think they called it eggplant parmesan. well i’m not sure how to prepare the classic version of eggplant parm and frankly i don’t care because this recipe is so delicious. and made with my beautiful farmer’s market eggplant! the parmesan happens to be in quotes because there is not a speck of parmesan in this recipe, just mozzarella. i just didn’t feel like calling it: breaded and pan fried eggplant in a bed of marinara topped with melted mozzarella and (get this) pesto.
the pesto is the quiet star that brings this recipe together. rather than a basil-y marinara sauce where the flavor can all too easily get lost i made a batch of the most basic pesto with my pile of basil. the pesto doesn’t take over the dish either as it can do because its just a small amount on top. it takes this from any old eggplant recipe to something deserving to be in a gourmet kitchen. (my delicious recipe for the pesto is here but i didn’t bother with the parmesan in this case because i didn’t have any and i wanted dinner, not a trip to the store!)