GHERKINS, TRUMP & JOSE.

Hello Internet, it's been a while (again) but here I am, finally talking about the best gherkins i've ever tasted. They are of course homemade, because apart from Asdas mixed pickle, my new addidas superstars and Nandos medium hot sauce, all the best things are. Sadly, I'm not responsible for creating this recipe, all that credit goes to Freddie Janssen, who pickles like a boss. 

So, here is the recipe - they really are insane. Not insane as say, the fact that there is now a 50% chance that Donald Trump will be President (what the effing hell are you doing, America?!) or Jose going to Man U (sobs) - but insane as in "Woah, these pickles are INSANE".

Aren't you glad I cleared that up for you? You're welcome.

 

GHERKINS

 

Ingredients (makes 1 litre jar):

  • 750g pickling cucumber, rinsed & quartered
  • 1 bunch dill
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled & sliced
  • zest of 1/2 a lemon (no pith)
  • 250ml rice wine vinegar
  • 250ml white wine vinegar
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • pinch chilli flakes

Method:

  1. Put your quartered cucumbers and the dill into a large sterilised jar.
  2. Add the garlic & lemon zest.
  3. In a large saucepan, combine the remaining ingredients with 250ml water and simmer over a medium to high heat. Stir constantly for about 10 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved.
  4. Turn off the heat and allow to cool slightly - 5 mins.
  5. Pour the warm liquid over the cucumbers, making sure they are fully submerged. Put the lid on and refrigerate.
  6. The pickles will be ready in two days, but best after a week. They will keep chilled for 3 week, but will lose some of their crunch after a couple of weeks.

Enjoy!

PICKLED TURNIPS & FAILING TO BECOME A RADIO SENSATION

They sound weird, i know, but trust me on this one. If, like me, you are pretty keen on pickles, then do make a batch of these because your world will be a much nicer place. 

I'm so keen on these pickles, that I even texted Liza Tarbuck during her Saturday night radio show to tell her. She thought that my current pickled turnip situation sounded, and i quote "actually quite beautiful".  Celebrity endorsed pickles - hurrah!

You see, i'm equally as obsessed with radio as I am with pickles. Since I discovered Red Dragon FM circa 1993 and fell in love with the DJ's voice, I was hooked. I called up a show once called Jukebox Jammin' - where I got to have a little chat with the host, say hello to 'my mum downstairs, my best friend Caz, any anyone else that know's me really' and pick a song of my choice from an album selected at random. The album was Michael Jackson's Thriller and obviously, being a teenager obsessed with The Beatles, I chose The Girl Is Mine, featuring Paul McCartney. I've still got the recording somewhere on a cassette, which my children think is hilarious.

Fast-forward a few years and I found myself being chosen to compete in a Movie Quiz during a Radio One roadshow, with Dave Pearce. Despite being in the sunny and beautiful Woolacombe Bay, he was a right grump. He became even grumpier still, when I said 'shit' live on air whilst talking about our local cinema refusing to show my favourite film, Reality Bites. Don't tell anyone but I may or may not have been able to see the answers to that quiz, on a piece of paper to the left of me...

I wanted to be a part of the radio world so much that I decided to study radio journalism at uni, mainly taking inspiration from all the fun Holly Hot Lips seemed to be having on The Chris Evans Breakfast Show of a morning. I got kicked out after failing my first year because I was a girl from Devon, in London with a load of free money and attending lectures was the last thing on my mind. I was told I was only allowed to stay at the university if I switched courses within the department. That's why I ended up studying for a degree in Media Arts with Television Broadcasting, resulting in a half-arsed career helping people make TV programmes like Bo' Selecta! and my personal fave, the groundbreaking, Jordan & Peter: Laid Bare. It was my only my fave because it was voiced by Sir Terry Wogan and not only did I get to meet him, but I also gave him two of my paracetamols once because he had a headache. I cured him.

So, that's it. That's why I like pickles and radio in equal measures, I just thought you should know. Now, i'm off to tweet 6Music (ok, Shaun Keaveny) like it's my job.

Have a good day!


This is the best recipe I've found so far, from Bon Appetit:

Ingredients:

  • 1 small red beet, trimmed, peeled, quartered

  • 1 red chile (such as Fresno), halved lengthwise (optional)

  • 1 pound small turnips, trimmed, peeled, quartered

  • ½ cup red wine vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons salt

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Method:

  • Combine beet, chile (if using), and turnips in a 1-qt. heatproof jar or container.

  • Bring vinegar, salt, sugar, and 1½ cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar.

  • Pour pickling liquid over turnip mixture and let cool. Cover and chill at least 1 week before using.

BLAME CAITLIN

I haven't blogged since 2nd April. That's 18 days. EIGHTEEN. That's a long time, even for me, one of life's more sporadic bloggers. There are a few reasons for this, which I shall now list below, because i'm sure you've all missed me terribly and are concerned for my absence. 

  1. My computer is in my bedroom, in the attic. Now, this might seem like no reason at all not to blog, but did you read correctly? IT'S IN THE ATTIC. That means I have to walk up two flights of stairs, when I could just as easily sit on the sofa, watching whatever shit ITV put out these days, whilst playing UNO on my phone.
  2. My keyboard ran out of batteries. When something runs out of batteries in this house, and I am the adult in charge of said thing, then it's approximately 7.5 days before the batteries are replaced. If the kids need batteries replacing, they go straight to Dad, because things like this drive him insane. However, even if I was more 'battery efficent' then I wouldn't have replaced my keyboard batteries any sooner, because WHY DOESN'T IT JUST HAVE A LEAD? Is it so I can pretend I'm Richard Branson, planning balloon rides from the comfort of my bed, taking my clever little wireless keyboard with me? NO. I don't know why, but it's a stupid, stupid thing. Laptops are for bed. Desktops require a table, a chair placed just far enough away from the screen to be able to read what you are writing and a keyboard. They don't work any other way, so why does the keyboard need to be wireless?? ARGH.
  3. The Easter Hols. We went to Sussex and Devon and chillaxed. Well, we took the kids, so that's not strictly true.
  4. Caitlin, oh Caitlin. Is it just me, or does anyone else read every single piece she writes and shouts out loud "WHAT SHE SAID", because I know I do. It's true - once again I became completely obsessed with Caitlin Moran. She's always been bubbling away in the background for me, but this past month I fell hard - BAM! Anytime I had any time to myself I was reading Caitlin, taking onboard all her wisdom. I'd sit and wonder if we'd be mates if we ever met. I hope so. I've become a total fangirl, which is fine. I've accepted it. I've accepted the fact that I'd probably move in with her if she asked me to, just so I could make her cups of tea, or back comb her hair, or do her ironing.
  5. I discovered the 'new-to-me' chore of ironing. I LOVE IRONING. I know that's not what i'm meant to be saying as I tow the 'modern day feminist woman' line, but i do! The setting has to be right though: Ironing board up in lounge, large pot of tick-tock green tea at the ready, audio book ready to go and enough crumpled laundry to see my through at least an hour of calm, slow, restful ironing. Bliss! I don't even mind ironing Mr Tangerine Canteens shirts either (what? This is 2016 woman!). I figure, if he works hard to earn practically every penny we have, enabling me the luxury of trying to navigate these children of ours successfully into adulthood, whilst prattling about on my computer every now and then, then I owe him a couple of shirt presses.

Isn't it funny how I felt I had to justify that? People get really pissed off with women ironing mens shirts.

So, that's what i've been up to. I'm hoping to spend more time sat here, tapping away, now i've calmed down a bit about my wireless keyboard. So you can expect to see Easter Hols pics (we stayed in an uh-mazin' Airbnb house) recipes for turmeric tonic and fruit Kompot (such a hipster twat) and something else....oh yes pickled turnips (i know, i know). So, do come back soon!

BYEEEEEEEEEEE

Happy Saturday / I link you

Lets stay in bed all day. We can read books, watch The Breakfast Club, eat pickles on toast & browse the internet:

- Kimmy Season 2 is almost here! I might re-watch the whole of Season 1 whilst i'm waiting.

- I found these photos of this abandoned water park so interesting. I then started watching youtube vids of kids breaking in to it, which was a bit weird.

How to build a cheese plate. I've been reading Whitney for years, but never watched her on Youtube. She's funny!

- YUM. Yum, yum, yum.

- Have you had a look around Roost? I love it.

image : pinterest

Kimchi

Kimchi, Kimchi, Kimchi!

If there was ever a match made in foodie Heaven, then Kimchi and myself would probably be that match.  Having loved pickles since I was a a little girl, this Korean delight feels like next, natural & grown-up step in the preserving & pickling journey. 

I first made it myself about 6 months or so ago, using a recipe I found in the Pit & Cue cookbook, tweaking it to make sure it was veggie. I did actually like the idea of the salted shrimp and anchovy version but I didn't have anywhere to easily source said salted shrimp, not living in London anymore ;) Ha.

So, here we are - my version. I know there are a gazillion different variations of Kimchi but this is one I love. I've just met a mum at school who is really into the likes of Kimchi, Sauerkraut and Kombucha, so i'm hoping to pick up a few tips from her for further adventures in pickling, preserving & fermenting.  Stay tuned!

KIMCHI

Ingredients (8 servings approx.):

  • 1 medium chinese leaf cabbage
  • 10g sea salt
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 10 garlic cloves, minced
  • thumb of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 50g Korean chilli powder
  • 50ml light soy sauce
  • 100g spring onions, cut into 2cm batons
  • 100g carrots cut into julienne strips

Method: 

  1. Discard the outer leaves of the cabbage, then cut it lengthways in half, then again across into 3cm (ish) wide pieces.
  2. Put into a large bowl, then toss with the salt and 2 tbsps of the sugar, then leave in the fridge overnight.
  3. Put the garlic, ginger, chilli powder, soy sauce and remaining sugar into a large bowl & mix together. The mixture should be just thicker than the consistency of a creamy salad dressing. If it's looking too thick, add a little water a bit at a time until it's right. 
  4. Add the carrots & spring onions and mix well to combine.
  5. Wash, drain & dry your cabbage leaf and add to the bowl, mixing well. Pop into a sterilised jar and keep in the fridge. It's ready after 24hrs, but better after 1 week and at it's prime in 2 weeks. Don't keep it much long after that though.

Recipe notes: try souschef.co.uk for korean chilli powder.

 

Tumbleweed

It's a bit of luck this blog isn't 'officially' my job isn't it?! I'd have been given my P45 a lonnnnnng time ago!

Boo Hoo.

So, what have I been doing for the past month-ish? Well, mainly raising three kids who have taking it in turns to spike 39.9 temperatures, puke all over me, scare me half to death thinking that they have Scarlet Fever, and make me almost lose my mind with worry, by going on their first residential.

So, yeah, not much.

I've also been getting all kinds of excited thinking about the future, and what i'm going to end up doing with my time. I still really have no idea, but i think it involves selling food to people. Be sure to check back in 2019 for the next progress update ;)

I'm also working on changing the blog design.

Bloody hell, this has been a thrilling read hasn't it! I'll be back to normal again shortly.