Salty sweet pickled feijoas

At any given time, there’s at least a half-dozen jars of pickles in my fridge. You’ll find pickles of all kinds: roasted beets, green tomatoes, nasturtium pods, radish pods. Notice a theme here? They’re either vegetables or the seeds of vegetables.

Up until a few weeks ago, I’d never made fruit pickles but I’d always been intrigued with them. The interplay of tangy and sweet seems well suited for the bitter-greens salads I like to make in fall and winter. Toss a medley of radicchio, endive, arugula, or dandelions together with pickled fruits (and perhaps a sweeter element, like roasted pears or apples) and you can temper the initial bite of bitter greens without losing their wonderful flavor.

As I found out, feijoas are the perfect pickling fruit. Their sweet and tart profile plays well with warm spices like cinnamon and clove, and they hold their shape and texture for weeks. I haven’t tried processing the pickles in a water bath canner, but as refrigerator pickles, they turn out tender with a pleasant chew.

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December 7 2016      Leave a comment     Linda Ly
En La Cocina   Frutas

Evolving holiday traditions, our first family Christmas card, and a Minted giveaway

For the last couple of years, Will and I have been cutting down our own Christmas tree at a Christmas tree farm in Orange County. It’s truly a novelty in Southern California: 70°F and sunny, palm trees swaying in the breeze, eager families in sneakers and T-shirts winding their way through acres of Monterey pines and Leyland cypresses.

Taking our Christmas tree home

We’ve always brought our whole family to the tree farm, which — until this year — was just us and our two pugs. (I wrote about our first time at the farm here.)

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December 5 2016      19 comments     Linda Ly
Familia

The five little things that made my week…

Kayaking the Los Angeles River

1. It was a chilly 48°F at sunrise, but there I was, paddling the Los Angeles River like it was a balmy day! (Or pretend-paddling is more like it, since the river is closed to boating in winter.) Thank you to the awesome crew at Zoom-Zoom magazine (Mazda’s official publication) for asking me to be a part of their upcoming story about LA River restoration efforts, which will include an interview about my volunteer work at Rio de Los Angeles State Park. I’ll post more details when the issue is released! (If you missed my post on kayaking the river a couple of years ago, you can read it here.)

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December 2 2016      2 comments     Linda Ly
Diversión

Feijoa-pear chutney (and a master recipe for making any chutney)

Every fall, a casual stroll through our garden proves to be quite precarious. Why?

Because the ground looks like this.

Seasonal bounty of pineapple-guavas

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November 28 2016      Leave a comment     Linda Ly
En La Cocina   Frutas

The five little things that made my week…

A well-organized seed bin

1. I love a well-organized seed bin! Currently down to 190 seed varieties after sorting and tossing the older packets. (Click here for my guide on figuring out the shelf life of your seeds.) More

November 18 2016      6 comments     Linda Ly
Diversión

So long, summer: a recap

As I sit down to write for the first time in weeks, the political noise on social media is taking a backseat to more important matters. An entire summer of pictures are downloaded and sorted, the first round of edits are back in my project manager’s hands, and my book cover is finalized. The house is clean, the baby is sleeping, and I’ve even squeezed in some long-overdue garden chores. (This picture, by the way, is an overgrown beet that had been sitting in soil for over a year!) In spite of emotions running rampant and the world reeling from the election this past week, my overarching feeling today is, “It’s good to be back.”

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November 16 2016      8 comments     Linda Ly
Libros   Viajes   Vida

Sriracha stem pickles on Freshly Preserved Ideas

Those of you who’ve cooked from The CSA Cookbook know that I love to use the odds and ends of vegetables in my recipes — in part because I try to waste as little as possible in the kitchen, and because these “scraps” are vegetables in their own right, full of flavor and texture.

Chard stems are one such scrap that’s sometimes discarded or composted when recipes only call for the tender leaves. The stems, however, have a mild flavor that plays well with other ingredients and a pleasant crispness similar to celery ribs. If you find yourself with a good handful of stems, don’t toss them — pickle them!

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October 1 2016      Leave a comment     Linda Ly
En La Cocina