Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Easy Pickling

I love pickles! I make them out of almost any vegetable. They are the perfect accompaniment to a cheese platter, chopped up in salads or best of all, a quick snack! In the picture above, I added the last tiny purple brussel sprouts from the garden with store bought onions. Apparently the color of the brussel sprouts infused in the brine turning it all a pleasing pink. Simplifying the basic recipe makes it so I make them more often.

Here is all you need to know for the pickle part:
1 part water to 1 part vinegar
1 (or slightly less) tablespoon of salt for each cup of liquid

After that, the fun ingredients are up to you! Garlic cloves, mustard seed, dill, coriander seed, red pepper, and fennel seed are often used in different combinations. You can use white vinegar or apple cider vinegar or a combination. I boil the liquid and salt and then pour over packed jars. It is that simple! Any vegetable will do, onions, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cucumbers, carrots, mushrooms to name a few.

Last summer I succumbed to buying this book after seeing it in a library in Nova Scotia, The Joy of Pickling by Linda  Ziedrich. I take it out to show anyone who compliments my pickles (that will teach them!) It has more recipes for all kinds of pickles than most people will ever get to, but it is good inspiration for interesting combinations. 
So next time you have too many of a good thing in the garden, or see something particularly beautiful on the produce shelves.....pickle it!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Pintrest Possibilities

Tremella mesenterica - Golden Jelly Lichen

How do you use Pintrest? I have several boards that I share with everyone, but I have a few boards I keep hidden for my own use. One board I call Moss and Lichens. I use it as my own digital field guide that I add to. When I take walks and see a moss or lichen, I bring it home to identify. Culling through images, I find what I think is the quintessential image, pin it to the board and add the common and Latin name. 

Cladonia  cristatella - British Soldier Lichen

This way I have a quick and easy reference when I can't remember what something is called. Being a visual learner, this has potential to be a better field guide than any book. I say potential because it will only be as good as what I make of it!

Leucobryum glaucum- White Pin Cushion Moss

 Sifting through all the online images and finding the one that shows all the combined characteristics of a species is a quick contemporary version of how naturalists of the past created field guides. Roger Tory Peterson painted his 1934, A Field Guide to the Birds of Eastern and Central North America
 by studying all the aspects of one species and then combining all the definitive attributes in one view.
How do you use Pintrest?
Look for more Art of the Garden posts on Pintrest.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Forward Step!

It has been almost two years since I started this blog, and today was a big day in the journey as I bought the domain name! I am full of idea possibilities. Thought I would post this picture of the ginger I bought this fall as a reminder that there is so much right in front of us, and we can only hope to notice a small portion of it. One foot in front of the other!