Hey. I’m here in Texas. And really all I’ve done is unpack, organize, and hand wash every freaking piece of wool clothing for indeterminately long storage. But I have this kind of brain blockage that prevents me from completing large, important tasks in favor of nagging smaller tasks. Then, the longer I don’t do whatever important task in question, the more I don’t want to think about how long it’s been and I try to not think about it. Take for example, not working on this blog and instead figuring out the best way to organize and store all of my holiday decorations. Or how I didn’t post this here recipe for a month and half because I was too busy getting ready to go to Texas and too busy seeing every friend possible. I had already taken the pictures, I was already completely checked out at my job, you’d think I would have been able to do it, but I just kept pretending like it wasn’t as long as it really had been. Brain blockage. So here’s a recap of my life.
My landlords in Denver were being real pains in the ass about wanting to show the house as soon as I told them we were moving. First, they wanted to show it all day. They were just going to be there all.day. 8 – 6. And they said they were going to do the showings on the weekend “so as to accommodate [my] usage during the month.” What does that mean??? How is it nice to have them there on the weekends? So, I said well it’d be pretty great if you could do the showings when I’m not there, thanks. Then they asked if I could lock my cats in a fucking closet for “10 or so hours” while they would be there showing the place. I didn’t reply to the email for a day because I needed to calm down. I’m so excited I never have to hear from Kathy and Randy Fischer ever again! Did I mention that Randy is a state representative here in Colorado? Rated worst for business by The Denver Business Journal. Thanks, bud. Also, his wife is on drugs, pretty sure. Teamocil probably. But yeah, they liked my garden and my compost pile, so that’s good. Didn’t have to haul off two truck loads of soil and months worth of rotting vegetable and yard matter.
Driving to Texas with two cats turned out to be not as terrible as I’d predicted. I gave Pan, the neurotic mal-adjusted boy, a sedative and put him in the Thunder Shirt. Yup, the Thunder Shirt, as seen in SkyMall. Pan had been so terrible in the car for our vet rides that I figured I could use any bit of help I could get. For the little girl Yammer I decided to just leave her as is. She’s pretty good and I thought she’d be fine. Well, Pan was a dream and Yammer nearly a nightmare. I made it to the hotel that night and resolved to give them both the sedative the next morning, as I figured that was the main factor in Pan’s calmness. NO IT WAS NOT. The Thunder Shirt is a MIRACLE! Four hours into the second leg of the trip, Yammer was still going completely insane, worse than the day before and nothing would calm her. So I pulled over for the third time, opened up Pan’s cage, took off his little shirt and put it on the squirming, yowling, frantic Yammer. I put her back in her crate and five half-hearted little yowls later, she was done. Just calm as could be. And meanwhile, Pan was still totally fine from having worn the shirt for the first half of the trip. Unbelievable. I’ll never give them a sedative again. I just bought a second shirt so I could wrap them both up for their vet trips. Anyway, I’ll recap more with the next post. I’ll talk about Texas. It’s alright.
So, I’m kind of obsessed with carrots. Specifically my burnt carrots. But I needed to break away and do something different. And while I think cucumbers make the ultimate fermented pickles, carrots were calling my name (in that I had probably 7 pounds of carrots in the fridge, bought due to my exuberance for burnt carrots, and feared I might not actually be able to eat them all in time.) I also think garlic is so very wonderful in pickles that these are like extra garlicky, chile-spiked carrot pickles. With lacto-fermented stuff, you need to make the appropriate salt solution that allows the veggies to ferment, but that is also palatable. I like a 4% brine best, because I see 3 – 5% in recipes and I just figure go for the middle. To accurately make one you need a scale, but it’s okay if you don’t have one – bacteria don’t need exact measurements.
fermented carrot pickles
fine sea salt
water (filtered or boiled and cooled is preferred)
1 lb. bag of carrots, cut in half widthwise, then thick ends in quarters lengthwise, thin ends in halves lengthwise
6 – 10 garlic cloves, peeled
1 large dried chile – ancho or California or whatever you like best – stem removed
1 black tea bag, any metal or string removed (you can use an oak leaf instead, if you have a tree nearby)
1. Make the salt solution with the ratio of 2 1/2T salt to 4c water. Alternatively, if you have a scale, make a ratio of 40g of salt to 1 liter of water. Make about as much as will fit in whatever jar or crock you’ll be using. No biggie if you don’t use it all.
2. In a clean jar or crock, add the carrots until they’re decently packed in. Add in the garlic, chile, and tea bag.
3. Pour your well-dissolved brine over the carrots until they’re covered. Place something in the jar to keep everything submerged in the brine. I use a little jar with some brine in it – it works alright, but I want to try a sterilized rock next time. You can also use a ziplock bag full of the brine or a plate if you’re using a wide enough mouthed crock or jar.
4. Set the jar in a dark place in your house, where it won’t be too hot. Basements are the best. Leave it for a week and hey look you’ll have sour carrot pickles!