In a Pretty Pickle (or a Jam?), Garter Stitch Ennui, and More

Pickled Ramps

Hey y'all, just checking in here, missing la blog. I am currently bogged down in what should be a small project - a Baby Tomten for a brand new baby friend of mine. (Heh, "bogged" makes me chuckle when used in reference to an EZ project. This ain't no Bog Jacket!) Garter stitch is just so deceptive. It seems like your pal because it's straightforward, knit knit knit! But it hides dirty secrets: it eats yarn because the fabric is so dense, and because the fabric is so dense, it takes forever. Then there's the added drag of having reworked the math for a different gauge yarn, and the extra computation always makes it hard to put a project down and pick it up again.

I think my next project shall be a lovely lace stole - something with an interesting stitch pattern but minimal shaping. Oh yes. Until then, my Tomten and I repeatedly stare each other down.

But enough complaining! I've picked up yet another new learning in the kitchen: canning! (hm. I skipped juice I guess?) Last weekend I had the pleasure of a pickling and "jam session" har har, at the hem of the lovely and talented Virginia of Virginia's Edibles. I picked up four pounds (!!) of ramps, two pounds of jewel-red organic strawberries, and several stick stalks of the brightest rhubarb I've laid eyes on, courtesy of my beloved Food Coop. V picked up a couple of pounds of blackberries and we got to it.

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam Blackberry Jam

We made two types of pickles - refrigerator pickles and hot pickles. For the refrigerator pickle, we used this recipe from Serious Eats, and for the hot pickle, we adapted a recipe for pickled garlic. The pickles need to, erm, pickle for a week or so before we can try them - can't wait! In the meantime, I'm brainstorming uses for pickled ramps. So far I've only come up with "With Meat." So . . . suggestions welcome!

And finally, did you read Sadie's post on Jezebel - The New Decornographers? Without saying too much, I'm mulling a post on this topic. Any of you out there written about it yet?


Posted by jess at April 28, 2010 10:29 PM | TrackBack

I recently wrote about this on my blog, actually, as have many others. If you check out the links below, you'll see that there are a bunch of us trying to "keep it real" on our blogs as opposed to the decornographers (all I can see when I read that is the "corn" part! LOL).

my post:

the "moments" list:

the post that spawned the list:

and another:

Congrats on the jam & pickles! I've never eaten ramps, but this is the second blog I've seen mention them this spring!

Posted by: michell at April 29, 2010 12:34 AM

Oh, pickled ramps. Sound delicious but no dieas on the use of.

I loved the link and wrote a little bit about it in conjunction with my boys' bday party. Crafting is so wonderful but I have stopped following lots of blogs due to the odd perfection they embrace... Not sure if they realize and do not care or forget to disclose. Some of the blogs she linked were waaaaay over the top though.

Posted by: Mamie at April 29, 2010 2:33 AM

I was just thinking about pickled ramps yesterday. Mmmmm

Posted by: Em at April 29, 2010 11:46 AM

I'd be really interested to hear what you have to say on the subject of the Decornographers. I'm sure it would be really interesting!

Meanwhile I'm going to have to start clicking on all of these other links in the comments.

Good luck with the pickles!

Posted by: Leila at April 29, 2010 12:46 PM

Was thinking about those ramps (nice pic, btw), you could chop them up and use them in cold salads-- potato salad, chicken salad, egg salad, etc. :)

Now I'm hungry!

Posted by: michelle at April 29, 2010 5:15 PM

That pickled ramp sure look good!

Posted by: Alisa-Foodista at April 30, 2010 2:27 PM

Funny - I had a mess of ramps that my SIL had given me, so I used that Serious Eats recipe and pickled the leftovers. They're still in my fridge, pickling.

Posted by: magpie at May 4, 2010 10:31 AM

Canning is so rewarding!

Posted by: Knittripps at May 6, 2010 7:02 PM

mmmmmm jelly, pickles and poached eggs! Congrats on the egg. I just winged it one morning and ended up buying those neat little poach pots. Worth it!

Posted by: claire warren at May 11, 2010 8:52 PM

Nothing beats home-made jam.

P.S. Pretty blogs are just that. We all know the dust and clutter, the friend with cancer, the crying child - the things we all have in our lives, are just off camera.

Posted by: knittingoutloud at May 25, 2010 9:01 AM

You've reminded me to get back to canning this summer. Finding the time is always a problem.

Posted by: insurance quote at June 9, 2010 5:39 PM

I've always wanted to learn to can. My parents did when I was younger, and I do love homemade pickles and preserves.

Those ramps look beautiful.

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Posted by: Garrett19Brandie at June 21, 2010 8:55 AM

This is great.. My mother used to do this and then we'd chop em up into pasta and roast fish/meats.


Posted by: Life insurance Real at June 24, 2010 12:36 PM

People online keep showing nasty pictures of the worst things and say it's good for us because that's "real life".

But these pics are real and much better for my soul. I thank you so much for posting things like this and making not just my day better but the internet better too. If everyone took the time to contribute something wholesome think of how much more honest and positive the web would be?

Posted by: Real life at July 13, 2010 12:58 PM

Oh these do look ever so yummie!!

I would suggest a bit more spices like this carrot recipe:
Spicy Pickled Carrots

2 lbs carrots, peeled and sliced at an angle into 1/4 inch thick pieces
5 whole cloves garlic, peeled and lightly smashed
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
10 Turkish bay leaves (or 5 California bay leaves)
8 peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups water
6 oz. whole pickled jalapenos

Pour oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and saute the garlic. Add carrots and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add vinegar, bay leaves, peppercorns and salt. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add water and jalapenos and bring to a simmer again for another 10 mintues.

Let mixture cool completely. Transfer the carrots and cooking liquid into a covered container, discarding the bay leaves, peppercorns and garlic cloves if desired. Carrots will keep in the refrigerator indefinitely, although I usually eat them within 2 weeks.

I tried those and I swear that they barely hit the cupboard before we ate them! Next time I'll double the batch with another veggie. :)

Thanks for your ramps post!

Posted by: Accident Insurance Plan at August 1, 2010 11:56 PM

Very interesting article.

Posted by: emulsifying agent at February 24, 2012 3:30 AM
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