Ma'am Cave and Not Entirely Average, a blog collaboration!
If you are a gal who 'owns' your grays, your wrinkles, and your sags proudly, then you will embrace the witty writings and confident advice from friend and fellow blogger Debra Blair and her website, Ma'am Cave!
Debra hails from the great state of Massachusetts where she blogs and shares information about living, staying social, and keeping engaged during midlife and beyond. Deb is somebody I immediately gravitated to because the story she tells is my story, the 'everyday of a girl about to turn 50 who doesn't know where the years went.'
Anyway, Deb asked if she could feature Not Entirely Average
and one of my recipes as her July guest post - um, yeah Deb!
I shared with Deb's readers, my improvised Quick Sweet Pickled Summer Vegetable Relish. Since I never formally learned to can, the quick pickled version of summer veggies makes this DELISH compote ready within a few hours. Of course, the longer the relish sits and has time for the flavors to marry, the better it will taste. My tip; make a day ahead and serve with everything from grilled frankfurters to pork tenderloin.
I have also used up the leftovers in my Bacon & Sweet Pickle Stuffed Eggs.
Ma’am Cave...definitely friends in high places.
How privileged I am to be asked by fellow blogger and friend Miss Deb to have her feature one of my recipes on Ma’am Cave. I have chosen a recipe that I have not shared with my own readers yet, an easy and quick sweet pickled summer vegetable relish. But, before I unveil all sorts of ingredients and methods, a bit about me.
Life; The Art of Drawing Without an Eraser.
My name is Jenny deRemer and I am originally from Basking Ridge, New Jersey. I now call Charleston, South Carolina home, and have bumped around this historic town since 2005. I followed my parents down shortly after they retired. Though I miss it terribly, New Jersey just was not home without my folks.
In 2017, I read an article about a couple who ‘lessened their load,’ to start anew. They sold their home to free up cash and moved to New Hampshire where they purchased a small farm. The ‘start anew’ focused on how this family generated a trickle of passive income by writing about their experience and fear of selling their biggest asset and leaving their high salary jobs in New York City behind for the unknown. They blogged about everything from learning how to raise chickens to collecting rainwater in barrels. And, people LOVED THEM. Soon, local businesses who sold them the rain barrels and the feed for those chickens were offering the family a percentage of any sale if the family advertised the wares on their site. Thus, the affiliate marketing began.
Sometimes, life steers us where we least expect to end up. I say check out the scenery just in case you want to stay a while.
Readers embraced the entire family and tuned in weekly to follow their adventuresome posts. Since the children were now being homeschooled, that engaged an angle of unique readers and followers in addition to those following the boutique farming. All of those same readers also purchased. LOTS. The family now earns a six-figure salary from affiliate marketing and sponsored product posts annually. They live the simple life in the country they yearned for and are raising their children within nature.
The article stuck with me. And, probably like many, I thought they were crazy. After all, I too had a nice house and a fantastic job at the time. Yet the more I considered their assertions, the more I realized how stagnant my own life had become. It would not be until some 14 months later that I would investigate setting up my own LLC, and gradually make the transition from working for somebody else, to becoming my own lady boss.
My life now over at Not Entirely Average, and appreciating what I could not see before letting go.
It has been a heck of a FAST ride in just three short years. I am my own lady boss now, the personality behind Not Entirely Average, a Charleston, South Carolina-based food and lifestyle blog. The foodie direction seemed obvious because I honestly felt like it was the only thing I was good at. I had no special training and I learned how to start a business and file for the appropriate licenses along the way.
I wake every morning thinking about my readers and how my role has become hugely important now that we have experienced economic downturns due to the pandemic. Many parts of the country were caught off guard despite the news worsening hourly in the beginning. I feel like many thought it would never get to this point. I focused on pantry staple recipes. I looked up BUNCHES of my Grandmother’s old recipes, many from the Depression. I tweaked and modified and cooked my best. The response has been overwhelming.
Did I mention I was sharing a recipe? Tangents...
So, that recipe I promised you! I grew up on a small farm in New Jersey. My Mom, aunts, and Grandmother all grew their own vegetables and fruits, and canned every bit of their harvests. I never formally learned to can. This modified recipe for Quick Sweet Pickled Summer Vegetable Relish is one I recall eating many times on everything from grilled frankfurters to plank finished pork tenderloin and requires no true canning procedure. With all sorts of summer vegetables coming in just now, this recipe makes good use of a good variety of them, especially if you have half an onion or a quarter of red pepper leftover from some other recipe. This way, nothing gets thrown away. This recipe yields about a cup and keeps under refrigeration for up to two weeks.
If you want to be different, try these Bread and Butter pickled Green Tomatoes. They are lovely in this recipe, atop a lobster salad, or eaten straight out of the jar. Click images for pricing.
All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC
Did you know that it’s super easy to print out a version of a half recipe or even a double recipe on Not Entirely Average? Hover over the serving size (highlighted in blue, it says 24 on this recipe) and then slide the the white line to the left to make less or to the right to make more. This "calculator" allows you to play until you get the number of servings you want. Easy.
Ingredients for Quick Sweet Pickled Summer Vegetable Relish
- 1/2 cup store-bought bread and butter pickles
- 1/2 cup mixed garden vegetables such as sweet red pepper, onion, carrot, cauliflower, or zucchini, rough chopped
- 2 teaspoons caster sugar may substitute granulated sugar; skip adding it directly into the food processor in step 2, and rather dissolve it completely in the wine vinegar before then adding in step 3
- 1 tablespoon juice from the store-bought bread and butter pickles
- 1 tablespoon pickled mustard seeds from the store-bought bread and butter pickles
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon strong mustard such as Dijon
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- freshly cracked black pepper
- Add the store-bought bread and butter pickles and the rough chopped mixed garden vegetables to a food processor.
- Pulse 1 to 2 times until you get a small chop. Then add the caster sugar and ground cinnamon.
- Pulse again 1 to 2 pulses until you end up with a lightly coarse mixture. Scrape the blended pickle vegetable mixture into a medium sized mixing bowl (not metal). Add the pickled mustard seeds, pickle juice, mustard, vinegar, and onion powder. Season mildly with freshly cracked black pepper to taste.
- Using a rubber spatula, stir the relish well. Cover and let the relish marinate at room temperature for two hours. Then check the seasoning again and add extra cinnamon, sugar, onion powder or pepper if necessary. Transfer the relish to a jar or small bowl with a lid and refrigerate overnight. The flavors marry best the longer the relish sits.
- Store refrigerated for up to two weeks.
- This relish accompanies all kinds of grilled vegetables and meats and tastes especially impressive with a plank finished pork tenderloin if you enjoy cooking with cedar. The flavors and aromas open up with a bright and well chilled Grenache or a spiced Old Vine Zinfandel.