Links: Pickled Strawberries, Green Onion Kimchi, and Winners

This week has been a bit of a mess in my world. Just when I got myself clear of a 48 hour stomach bug, I managed to slide an inch-long splinter into the ball of my left foot, necessitating a trip to urgent care. I managed a pot of soup and some simply homemade pizza, but otherwise we’ve been surviving on scrambled eggs, bagged salad, and take-out. May this week be a little easier. Now links!


This Monday night (April 24, 2017), I’m going to do a Facebook Live broadcast on the topic of quick pickling. Join me at 9 pm eastern time and bring all your quick pickle questions!

Finally, our five winners in last week’s Cuppow giveaway. Thanks to everyone who entered!

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Cookbooks: The Quick Pickle Cookbook

A couple weeks ago, I wrote a blog post rounding up some useful cookbooks to help inspire us all during this month of quick pickles. In my research for that post, I came across a new-to-me book on the topic called The Quick Pickle Cookbook.

Written by Food & Wine alum Grace Parisi, this slim volume came out last fall and is a delightful addition to my personal pickle resource library. I think many of you will feel similarly.

The book is divided into two sections, with vegetable pickles coming first and fruit pickles coming second. Scattered amidst the pickle recipes are dishes designed to help you put your pickles (and their leftover brine) to work.

Some of the recipes I’ve marked to try include the Smoky Okra Pickles (page 47), the Pickled Pepper Romesco (page 85), the Bourbon-Pickled Blackberries (page 97), and the Lime-Chile Pickled Pineapple (page 135).

If you’ve really enjoyed this month’s quick pickle challenge, consider adding this one to your library for future idea fodder!

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Submit your April Mastery Challenge Projects!

Hello Mastery Challenge participants! We’re a little over halfway through April and the internet tells me that many of you have been busy making all manner of quick pickles!

In order to be counted in the final tally for the April challenge, please use the form below to submit your projects. Remember, you don’t have to provide a URL to be counted as a participant, but if you want me to link out to your project in the round-up, you do need to include the direct link to a blog or social media post.

Please get your projects submitted by April 28, so that I can get the round-up posted on April 30.

If the form below (it’s after the jump, if you’re reading this on the main page of the blog) isn’t working for you, you can also access the form by clicking this link.

Oh, and if you do post to social media, make sure to use the #fijchallenge tag to help spread the word of our preserving activities!

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Giveaway: Cuppow & BNTO Jar Adapters

Want to up your packed lunch, picnic, and snack game? This week, Cuppow is offering five $20 gift codes up to the Food in Jars community! Use the widget at the bottom of the post to enter!

During the winter months, I can happily spend week after week working away at my dining room table or perched at my desk (located behind the television), without feeling even a little bit restless. Many a day has passed when I haven’t so much as stepped toe outside my apartment building. But as soon as the weather begins to warm and the days lengthen, I start to feel squirrelly.

Lately, staying inside has made me feel fidgety, as if the walls of my apartment are a particularly itchy and confining wool sweater. And so, I’ve been changing my patterns and heading outside.

Some days, I only go as far as my neighborhood coffee shop or the covered concrete patio that juts off on the west side of my apartment building. Other days (far more infrequent than I’d like), I blow off work entirely and visit a friend who moved about an hour away this time last year and had a sweet baby boy back in December.

The one thing that all these outings have in common is my devotion to always packing a snack. As someone who tries to eat well most of the time but is highly susceptible to bakery cases and bags of chips at the check-out counter, being prepared is hugely helpful in avoiding temptation.

Lately, I’ve been reaching for my stash of BNTO jar adapters from Cuppow to help me pack up portable and waste-free snacks (because even when you do find a relatively virtuous snack in the world, the amount of packaging is enough to drive an environmentally minded person a little bit crazy).

On the particularly day pictured here, I filled jars with carrot sticks, apple slices, and yogurt with a dollop of quince jam. Into the BNTO adapters, I put peanut butter, hummus, and a bit of granola (embarrassingly, it was not homemade). Some homemade cold brew went into a wide mouth pint, with one of my original Cuppow lids secured on top for easy sipping.

With picnic season upon us, I encourage you all to spend a few minutes thinking about how you pack up your sandwiches, snacks, and treats. Perhaps a new BNTO or two would make the process more streamlined and less wasteful!

To that end, for this week’s giveaway, our friends at Cuppow are up five gift codes worth $20 a piece. Five lucky Food in Jars readers will each win one code to redeem over at the Cuppow website. You can choose from Cuppow lids, BNTO jar adaptors, Mason Taps, and CoffeeSocks! Use the widget below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: Cuppow is a Food in Jars sponsor and are providing the codes for this giveaway at no cost to me. Products pictured were sent for review purposes. However, all opinions expressed here are mine alone.

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Food in Jars Stickers for Sale!

Back in 2014, when Preserving by the Pint was just coming out, I ordered a box of stickers with the orange Food in Jars logo on them. I handed out these stickers at libraries, farmers markets, and book shops and was delighted people put them on their water bottles, laptops, and car bumpers.

I’ve been out of that first batch of stickers for awhile now and have missed them. So when a coupon code from Sticker Mule landed in my inbox, I decided it was high time to order up a new batch. Die cut and made of weather and scratch-resistant vinyl, these stickers are kind of awesome.

If you want one of these stickers, I’m offering up 150 for sale here on the blog for $3 a piece. If you want one, use this link to send me $3 via Paypal (make sure that your mailing address is accessible via Paypal, so I know where to send the sticker). Once I get your order, I’ll drop the sticker into the mail for you! And let me know if you have any questions!

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Mastery Challenge: Quick Pickled Mushrooms

Regular Food in Jars contributor Alex Jones is here today with her contribution for the April Mastery Challenge. This month, she quick pickles some gorgeous local mushrooms from Primordia Farm! Take it away, Alex!

Just about every Saturday, I wake up early and walk a few blocks from my West Philly apartment to Clark Park, where I’ll meet a truck laden with cheese and mushrooms from Berks County. We’ll set up folding tables and tents on the sidewalk along with organic vegetable growers, kraut makers, fishermen, orchardists, urban farmers, and bakers who are there to vend at the farmers’ market.

On one side of our stand, I sell grass fed artisan cheese, yogurt, and cultured butter for Valley Milkhouse, a microdairy located less than 90 minutes from Philly that’s run by my friend Stefanie Angstadt. On the other side, my neighbor Bianca sells wild foraged and organically grown mushrooms for the other Berks-based business, Lenhartsville’s Primordia Farm. In addition to providing an efficient logistics partnership for the two farms, we and our farmers’ market customers find that our products go really well together.

The proximity to Primordia’s offerings has given me the chance to experiment with the kind of fungi that never used to cross my radar. I get to bring home feathery maitake mushrooms to roast up crisp and toasty, king trumpets to slice into planks and saute until golden brown, and—when they’re in season—black trumpets, chanterelles, and morels to flavor creamy pasta sauces and risottos or simply cook gently in a good amount of butter.

If you’ve got a good source for fresh, organically grown mushrooms in your area but haven’t tried cooking with them yet, I highly recommend it. Varieties like these and others, like furry-looking lion’s mane, delicate golden oyster, and tiny, compact enoki, are sometimes labeled “exotic” or “wild” and can come with eyebrow-raising price tags, ranging anywhere from $10 to $40 (for morels in season) per pound.

But mushrooms are very light, and the amount you need to make even a mushroom-centric dish or preserve is probably much less than you think. The mushrooms for this recipe cost around $8. By bringing some home from the farmers’ market, you’ll also be supporting a small, sustainable business like Primordia and adding something nutritious and delicious to your diet.

(The specimens in the top photo sat bagged in my crisper for nearly a week before I could process them, hence a few dings and broken pieces, but trust that Primordia’s and any good grower’s mushrooms will be immaculate at purchase.)

As much as I’ve come to love mushrooms, I’d never pickled them after a tendency to be disappointed by the marinated buttons on most antipasti platters. Quick-pickling some beautiful mushrooms would be perfect subject for April’s Mastery Challenge.

After a little Internet research, I decided on this Andrew Zimmern recipe, modeled on Russian pickled mushrooms, as a guide. Along with the garlic, red pepper, dill, and thyme that he recommends, I swapped in star anise for cloves and black pepper.

And while Zimmern makes the impossible (at least where I live) recommendation to combine spring morels and summertime chanterelles in his recipe, neither were available locally—so I grabbed a mix of shapely king trumpet, velvety pioppino, and gray oyster.

The pickling process is a simple one. Check mushrooms for soil or debris—Primordia’s are so clean that you don’t have to wash them—and trim off any substrate, typically a nutrient-rich mix of straw or sawdust, coffee grounds, and mycelium out of which the fruiting bodies emerge.

Separate mushrooms like pioppino and oyster into smaller pieces and cut large, fleshy king trumpets into manageable sticks or planks.

Next, measure out water, apple cider vinegar, sugar, and pickling salt and put it in a pot to boil. Since this is a quick pickle that will be refrigerated, and I’m not a fan of overly sweet pickles, I cut the sugar down from ⅓ cup to one tablespoon, the same as the amount of salt called for in the recipe.

While you’re waiting for the brine to boil, get your jars ready by dividing the herbs, spices, and garlic between two wide-mouth pint jars.

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