Thursday, April 28, 2016

Ginger Love (and a recipe for how to make sweet pickled ginger at home)

I am a ginger devotee. It is probably one of my most favorite ingredients to eat or cook with. At Japanese restaurants there is never enough pickled ginger on my plate and I am willing to endure the hollow, sour feeling in my stomach that comes free eating far too much pickled food in one seating. Oddly, I have never attempted to make my own pickled ginger. Today, however is a new day, and guess what, I made what will now most likely become a staple in my kitchen—pickled ginger! 

What brought it all to the forefront was a batch of fast pickled radishes I put together at the food truck yesterday. I was needing a little salad pizazz and had a small bin full of fresh pink radishes (I'll actually give you all that recipe another time, once I figure out the precise proportions to use.) Either way, yesterday evening I was too tired to bother with ginger but my mind was already running with ginger thoughts and laughing at the idea I had never before even tried to make my own fast pickled ginger. Well today it was my priority. Between biscuits and omelets, pies and ice tea, I shuffled aside some time for ginger experimentation. 

The result is utterly satisfying. After eight hours of soaking, the pickles are fantastic; bright, extremely potent, sweet and with a true bite. I will bet tomorrow and even the day after, they will have come to terms with their fate and settled down to a somewhat milder delivery of their pickled ginger charm. 



ginger

ginger, pickling, sweet pickled ginger, Japanese style pickled ginger

Pickled Ginger Recipe

First wash and peel your ginger then slice very thinly until you have about one cup. I used a peeler, but a cheese slicer could work as well. Be sure to follow the grain or the ginger will be rougher in texture. Also note, the ginger gets more stringy as it gets closer to the center so optimally just use the outer portion for this recipe. Place the ginger in a bowl and mix with the following ingredients and then let sit covered in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours: 
1+1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1 cup water


Please enjoy and let me know how they come out!

                                                        ~Marica

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Stealing Flowers (but only wih my eyes)

My husband's mama visited several weeks ago and oh how lovely it was to have her here with us. It is the one part of living so far away from where we grew up that really is hard—we miss everyone so extremely much!

During her visit we did manage quite a a lot of time together, which is miraculous 
considering how busy things have been.

Below are the pictures snapped during one of our pleasant walks...







Happy Spring Everyone!


                                                     Cheers ~
                                                                Marica

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Bits of so many days...









Yup, and that is the calm, picture perfect version : )




                                                                Cheers ~
                                                                            Marica










Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Astoria in Pictures...


  Catch up time.


This is the first slow day I’ve had in the truck in what seems like months
 although it has really only been the last six weeks. Sunshine and longer 
days bring people out of the woodwork, favorite customers, old regulars and 
many a new face.


I have so much to post in pictures and tidbits that I am undecided where to start. 
Maybe I’ll just try to collect some of my favorite images from these past months.

The following are from our day trip we took to Astoria several weeks back.
Astoria, Oregon towns, Rainbows in Oregon 


Astoria Oregon












                                     More pictures to come soon!

                                                     Cheers ~
                                                                 Marica

Saturday, February 13, 2016

An old post for a busy week...

I've been up to my ears and haven't even put a thought into Valentines day until today.
 Too many wonderful distracting things...



 

 
We're not moved in yet, but I feel it getting closer...
 

 Luckily, I did manage to put together a couple of berry cheesecake pies for the truck...
 Of course it down poured all afternoon and evening—which I love—
though it made for slim pickings when it came to customers.
 Anyway, as an ode to Valentines day, I thought I'd paste here an old post that holds a sweet spot in my memories, a time when I had more time:

Could Valentine's Day be any more cheesy? What is the definition of cheesy anyway? Is cheesy a simplified stereotype of something wonderful? I always tend to use the word when I am describing something good, but overly obvious, overdone, or sapped out.
Well, I decided to put my sticky chocolate fingers all the way into the pie this year and make chocolate heart shaped pops . . .
and mini chocolate hearts . . .
The process was fabulously fun . . . I loved melting and combing chocolates to make fancy treats. The large heart pops were very easy ~

Chocolate Valentine Pops

 I melted:
1 pound chocolate
1 tablespoon coconut oil
Then I added and mixed gently but thoroughly:
1 cup puffed rice cereal 

 I poured it into a heart shaped pan that had a ready made slot for the sticks so the sticks could come out at the exact bottom. I laid the sticks in almost all to the way across to the top of the heart, then covered them with melted unsweetened chocolate. I think that was the key to how yummy they came out. The unsweetened chocolate gave them a depth of flavor. On one part of your tongue you are experiencing sweet, while other parts are involved in bitter. Mmm, and don't forget the crunchy rice. Unfortunately these tasty treats stuck in the mold, so I had to warm the bottom of the pan with hot water to get them out. It was suggested to me that next time I butter the pan, 
so in future times I will try that. 

Happy Love Day, and Cheers to Chocolate and Sweets ~ Marica