Sunday, September 25, 2011

Well, hello!

I love food and I guess that is how this all started.  That and I got a little "CAN-spiration" this summer from a friend of mine who posted photos on facebook all of the fabulous fruits and vegetables that she picked up at farmers markets this summer and preserved.  When my friends told me about the Crafty Food awards I decided to take action and give pickling & preserving a shot.  I picked up a set of canning tools (tongs, jar lifter, funnel and lid popper thing) from the Mt. Pleasant Hardware store here in DC and four ball pint jars and got to it.

I found a recipe for garlicky dill spears and it was a disaster.  I let the vinegar brine boil for way to long, I used dill WEED instead of dill SEED and they tasted totally gross, but instead of giving up I tried again.  I was turned off spears, and learned my lesson about NOT letting vinegar brine reduce and decided to make some classic bread & butter pickles.  I did a lot more research before I got in the kitchen this time and I figured out the basics of the typical bread & butter brine and got to work.  I also made a trip to a Penzey's spice shop while on vacation in Minneapolis and really got inspired!  I stocked up on lots of mustard seeds, cloves, allspice, three different types of cinnamon (!!!) and at least 4 different spice blends. When I returned from that trip renewed, refocused and loaded with some AWESOME ingredients I finally started cooking and the bread & butter pickles turned out awesome.

I packed up a jar and and submitted those badboys to the Crafty Food Awards the next day.  I had to fill out an application and a portion of it asks for "company info" of which I had none being that I'm an amateur and all.  So I came up with the name Blue Apron Pickles & Preserves for two reasons.  First - I'm no one trick pony, the same enthusiasm and excitement I bring to the kitchen when I make pickles I can also do with just about anything else that fits in a jar.  Second - I wear a blue apron when I'm canning which definitely comes in handy when I'm tightening the rings on hot jars.

So that is how it all got started folks.  Stay tuned for stories on the experiences I have procuring jars, produce, wacky spices and salts, and of course my trails, errors, sucesses and finished products!

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