Category Archives: drinks

Pickled Fiddlehead Ferns

fiddlehead fern 4 It’s Spring! Spring is here! This week was all 70 and 80 degree weather, bright sun, flowers, and sneezes. I’m in heaven. I’m also in San Francisco, but that’s beside the point.

fiddlehead ferns 5

This week I hosted Book Club, which meant I fed a group of people that I haven’t cooked for before but who know I write this blog (not to mention the cookbook), which is a scenario that gives me panic attacks. What if they don’t like what I’m serving? What if it’s awful? What if I fail? My answer to these questions is to make something I know I do well, so I served up a grits bar and a Bloody Mary bar. And, despite my deepest insecurities, it was a hit.

fiddlehead fern

fiddlehead fern 3 To add a little pizzaz to the Bloody Marys I pickled a batch of fiddlehead ferns, a Spring delicacy on par with ramps and garlic shoots. As my friend Katie described them, they taste like a blend between okra and green beans, the perfect taste of this fleeting season. A season I am whole-heartedly enjoying.

fiddlehead ferns 2 Pickled Fiddlehead Ferns

1 cup fiddlehead ferns

1 cup apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp sea salt

1 tbsp green peppercorns

1 garlic clove, minced

Quick pickles:

Blanche the fiddlehead ferns and rinse in cold water. In a non-reactive saucepan, heat all ingredients to a low boil. Simmer 10-12 minutes. Transfer into a jar/covered dish and store, refrigerated, for up to two weeks.

Cupboard pickles:

ed note: These ratios make 1/2 pint of pickled ferns. Multiply ingredients as needed. 

Begin by sterilizing your jar and lid in a pot of hot water. Set aside. Leave the pot of water boiling.

In a non reactive sauce pan heat vinegar, water, and salt.

Blanche the fiddlehead ferns and rinse in cold water.  In your sterilized jar, combine ferns with remaining ingredient. Pour vinegar and salt into jar, wipe the rim down, place a clean lid on the jar, and screw band on tightly.  Process in your large pot (with rack) for 10 minutes.  Remove from water, give the band another squeeze, and allow to sit.  Once the jars have sealed (you’ll know if you can’t pop the lid up and down), set them in a cool, dark place for at least two weeks.  They will stay for up to a year.

Kale Apple Ginger Smoothie

smoothie 2

I’ve always said that this blog follows what we eat, week in and week out. And the truth is that lately, this is what I’ve been eating. It’s filling, tasty, and it hits the spot in a way that no other food is hitting the spot right now. So smoothies it is- bring on the kale, ginger, lemon, and apples.

smoothie

Kale, Apple, Ginger Smoothie

2 apples, sliced and frozen
1 carrot, sliced and frozen
2″ ginger root, sliced
1 bunch fresh kale, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
1-2 cups of apple juice, depending on preference and strength of your blender

Combine ingredients in a blender and purée, adding apple juice as needed. Serve immediately.

Coffee, Banana, & Chocolate Smoothie

sunshinesmoothie 1

I’ve been subsisting mostly on smoothies lately, particularly this smoothie. Frozen bananas, almond milk, coffee ice cubes, and a tablespoon of hot chocolate mix. The perfect midday pick me up. Filling enough to count as an afternoon snack (thanks, bananas!), sweet enough to feel like a treat, and with the added bonus of a jolt of caffeine.

sunshinesmoothie 3

On afternoons when I’m especially dragging I’ll swap half of the almond milk out for half a cup of coffee (or a shot of espresso), which brings this to an entirely new level. Like my preschool students whose parents were saavy enough to convince them that smoothies were ice cream, this feels like I’m treating myself to something truly decadent, but mostly it’s just bananas. The best kind of decadence.

sunshinesmoothie 2 Coffee, Banana, Chocolate Smoothie

6 coffee ice cubes
3 frozen bananas, peeled and sliced
1 cup almond milk
1 tbsp hot chocolate mix

Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Serve immediately, chilled. Alternatively, spoon this into a dish and refreeze for a smooth banana ice cream treat.