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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Garlic! Garlic! Garlic! and Kraken's Breath

 Tortuga Thursday
In 2012, on the plains of Northern Arizona, two families joined forces and began the trials and tribulations of building a small family farm with nothing in the bank but love.
Pepper plants today
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled's a little too early for Peter, but the pepper plants are growing bushier and the cucumber plants that will lead us to pickling are flowering. The monsoons have started in Arizona, and the couple of rains we've had gave everything a growth spurt.

Unfortunately, one of those rain storms was accompanied by high winds that destroyed the awning on the RV. I'd been in the RV that morning, cleaning and had put the awning out for shade to keep it cool inside. Later, I was in the house writing, sun coming in the window when the storm hit. It was sunny on my side of the house but blowing and raining on the other. Never thought about the awning I left out. One of those times I really wished I could go back in time.

Pepper plants a week ago
I digress...back to farming...we're branching out in another direction to add to our line of pickles and relish. We grow all our own produce for the Pirate Pickles and Relish, one of which is garlic. After much research and discussion, we've decided to get into garlic on a larger scale, growing it to sell as a product. I didn't realize there were so many varieties of garlic. Some are considered gourmet. This first year, we'll do about a quarter acre of ten different varieties. Then we'll take the top two or three producers to concentrate on next year. Over this next year, we'll have another web site for marketing the garlic. Stay tuned!

Speaking of pickles, we've been getting emails of praise. Had to share this one with you that came with an imaginative recipe!

Cucumber plants today
We tried the Kraken's Breath Hot pickles from these guys.  By we, I mean my son and I. These are solid, good, hot pickles.  
We snacked on 'em first. then we used em with crackers, cheese,and summer sausage. That was a good lunch.
Then we sliced one up to combine with some of my leftover smoked porkloin to create a version of cuban pork sandwiches. That was straight up bitchin. (You can edit here if you like, but I wanted you and your crew to know how I really felt.)
Then, sadly, we were out of pickles...but I still had plenty o' juice! So I did what any self respecting meat cooking man would do and created a marinade for some pork chops.Here's my recipe:
6-8 thick cut porkchops (cuz whats the point if they're thin cut?)
Cucumber plants a week ago
1 bottle of your fave beer. We used Fat Tire.
1/3 cup of Kraken Breath juice
1tbs olive oil
Sprinkle in some oregano, basil, thyme, marjoram, (or just a couple spoons of Italian seasoning)
Black Pepper
Lil pinch o' Sea Salt
Soak the meats for an 30 min to 1 hour.  We use ziploc bags to soak in.
Anyway, grill them meats over some nice hot coals or smoke 'em over some applewood or Jack Daniels oak barrel chips. 
The youngest but cutest Pirate
Manly dinner for the night before setting sail!
So, that's my testimonial.  I can't wait to see you guys again and try more of them pickles.  I think the relish will do quite nicely mixed with sauerkraut, hot mustard, spooned over a fat beer brat with a nice shooter of beer-cheese sauce. Sweet Moses, get more product SOON!

We'll be back at the farmers' market by September. Meanwhile, we have to try out this recipe.


  1. Awesome testimonial, Brenda! I bet his recipe is tasty, too!!

  2. Great post. I really can say much more. I just love hearing about your farm. Thanks for sharing

  3. I was telling someone about you yesterday Brenda. About how I follow a number of writers blogs and one is a "pickle farmer", and although I would never follow a pickle farmer blog per se, that I love following your blog and hearing about how your adventure is unfolding. Great post and wonderful testimonial.

    1. I don't think I'd follow a "pickle farmer" either, Charlotte. LOL I'm glad you enjoy the blog about the other half of my life.

  4. The recipe sounds so good! We had a wind storm here over a week ago and were without power for two days. Those things can be nasty!

    1. OH MY, Ilona. I hate to think of going without power. We have two freezers full of peppers from last years harvest.