Pickle Reading

With the return of short, cold days, it’s time again to steep some warming tea, bury in under the blankets, and grab a book from that teetering reading pile.

One of my current browsing companions is Sue Shephard’s Pickled, Potted and Canned or How the Art and Science of Food Preserving Changed the World (Simon & Schuster, 2000). It’s relatively light reading, as nonfiction goes, and it’s perfect for the occasional one- to two-chapter dose of entertaining and anecdotal food history.

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Watermelon Radish with Spicy Oil


Some of us are lucky enough to have friends who are doctors, mechanics, carpenters, or even a massage therapist or two. I’ve recently decided that anyone who works weekends at an organic farmer’s booth and who loves to share bounty from her bottomless market bag is automatically promoted to my own BFF list.

A bonus bunch of super fresh watermelon radish recently found their way into my kitchen through such delicious connections. Aptly named for their vivid red, white and green coloring, these gems call for the simplest of preparations to highlight their fresh, summer flavor and gorgeous hues. Read more »

Half-Sour Cucumbers, Nukazuke-style


I judge a proper deli as much by the crispness of its half-sours as by the tenderness of its brisket. Recently, I stumbled upon an easy way to make them using some of the fruits of my nukazuke labor.

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Nukazuke: Japanese Rice Bran Pickles


Having corralled some of San Francisco’s wild yeast and soured my own crock of sauerkraut, it was time to move on to my next live food project: nukazuke. I was still a new convert to the Church of Fermentation, but a recent trip to Japantown helped immerse me completely.

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Sauerkraut: Part 2


Tim’s homemade pork sausage with prunes and Nancy’s bacon-studded potato salad made tasty companions to my apple-sweetened sauerkraut. The cabbage’s crisp tartness was an excellent foil for all that meaty goodness.

By the end of the afternoon, the crock was mostly empty. There’s a cup or two left, not quite enough for a choucroute garnie but plenty for a most satisfying Reuben sandwich. I love eating the pickled apple slices, too, and so will be sure to include them in future batches.

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