Friday night in = fridge pickles, which are my new obsession, and - along with popcorn - the only thing I feel like eating during this heat wave. I have a post up about them with a bunch of recipe links at ReadyMade; on my exciting Friday, I tried all sorts of intrepid new spice blends, as this questionable iPhone photo attests.
Everything's less fun on a budget:
2 lbs. crimini mushrooms
1 red bell pepper
1 bunch Siberian kale
1 bunch collard greens
1 bunch spring onions
2 bunches carrots
Total spent: $27
The criminis, bell pepper, and some of the onions will go into the mushroom sloppy joes I'm making for dinner with a friend tomorrow night (along with miscellaneous spices and the housemade barbecue sauce from The Meat Hook - cheating, I know, but theirs is so good); we'll also have collards with caramelized onion and, of course, fridge pickles to top the sandwiches.
My favorite carrot farmer has told me that the weather's allowing for a second planting this season, which is lucky, since apparently the deer have gotten into the carrots - my carrots! - so they'll stick around longer this year. I know I've waxed overly poetic about these carrots before but they're just so sweet, but mineral, but grassy - balanced - with no bitter edge like most carrots tend to have, but they're not candy-sweet and one-dimensional like some. All his produce is delicious, so it must just be fantastic soil.
But, fridge pickles! Friday night's batches used the same brine as my previous efforts, with cucumber, yellow bell pepper, spicier yellow Santa Fe pepper, garlic, and onion slices. Four jars, four spice blends: cumin seed, coriander, and black peppercorns; caraway seed, yellow mustard seed, and black peppercorns; pink peppercorn, fennel seed, brown mustard seed; and a final (smaller) jar with lots of yellow mustard seed and crushed red pepper. I also upped the amounts of the whole spices from my initial batch, from 1/4 tsp each to 1/2 tsp each. It's still a bit early to try them, but I'll probably do a tasting along with dinner.
Otherwise, it's a broke week 'til payday. I'll be eating lots of eggs over greens and rice for the next few days - though, since that's my favorite dinner of all time, I'd probably be doing it regardless. Also I'm going to try to be a better blogger. But summertime, man.