Purple is a transformative color.

I have a purple streak in my hair.

The first time I had it done I was inspired by my mother-in-love who had gotten a small bit of color in her hair at the beginning of the new year in 2010. When I saw it in person, fading into a little rainbow streak at the top of head, I knew I had to do this for myself. So I marched over to their local hair salon, with a crocus in my hand matching the exact color that I wanted, and had the stylist put a big, fat purple streak from the top of my head to my shoulder on my right side. I had never done anything so outwardly controversial in my life (seriously). And it was positively freeing. I remember walking back to my in-laws house in Tacoma with tears of joy in my eyes and I am just starting to understand why I was so overcome.

Just the other day I was at an event. The kind of solemn celebratory event where you are surrounded by the hosts’ family and elders and you are the couple of close friends feeling slightly guilty about having a beer or two in the shade (hm, maybe that guilt part is just me). One of these elders approached me toward the end of the day and said “I am sorry for staring, but I have to ask, why the purple?”

I am actually not asked “why?” all that often and so I stumbled for a bit and then said something along the lines of feeling like showing some color and being rebellious and that it was less permanent than a tattoo. The woman’s husband piped up then. He said “I was just on the shore and got a temporary tattoo.” and then he looked me in the eye and said “Ya know, purple is a transformative color.” I mean, this stranger, this gentleman, he just totally got it. I hadn’t even really gotten it myself.

When I got my first purple streak some part of me was aching, screaming, clawing to be seen. Really, actually seen. I had been doing some difficult work behind closed doors. I had been talking to a therapist and working through my anxiety issues, I had been uncovering my inner-artist, I had been picking apart those cracking walls brick by brick. It was time to wear my transformation on my sleeve, out loud.

Whereas I had gotten really good at fading into the background (a known skill of Fox, my animal totem) and camouflaging myself in my surroundings, people were now noticing me. And I was ready for it. Nowadays I very rarely feel like people are making judgements about me because of the color in my hair, and when I do most of the time it is kind of exciting. Am I edgy? Well, yeah I guess I am. I’m a wild, edgy, free, currently transforming mama. And I am cool with everyone knowing it.

Streak

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Spicy Pickled Radishes

radishes
Radishes.

I got one bunch from our CSA and used a few in some salads over the week. Quite yummy for sure, but I still had 4 or so large radishes left a week later when I got another bunch, and they were getting a bit spongy at that. I trusted that The Internets would know what to do, and man did it deliver. Turns out it is not a secret that the best thing on earth to do with a radish is to pickle it (perhaps tied with eating it with butter and fleur de sel somewhere in the south of France, but I am not getting there anytime soon).

There is no shortage of recipes and tutorials out there for how to pickle your own radishes. However, I was making a big old batch for our annual fourth of July celebration and had made a few adjustments to the recipes I’d found and I figured I’d try my hand at writing a recipe post, complete with lovingly captured shots of the process (with deep gratitude to the amazing women who have inspired me to get reacquainted with my camera, Amy and Stacy). Furthermore, everyone who has eaten them is now addicted and wants the recipe, so this seems like a good way to share it.

Now is a good time to mention that you need not stop at radishes. If I ever had to eat a shoe I would pickle it because it would be at least marginally appetizing. In the case of my 4th of July batch I added a bunch of Salad Turnips (also from the CSA) and when I had one jar that wasn’t quite full I added a chopped up fennel bulb too.

Fennel
The recipe below is for 1 “normal sized” bunch of radishes but it can be easily doubled, tripled, whatever.

Okay, first you should have on hand the following things:
1 bunch of radishes of any type
1 cup of white or cider vinegar (once I did half of each and it was good)
1 cup of water
2 teaspoons of sea salt (if using kosher or regular salt use a bit more)
2 teaspoons of coconut palm sugar (you can definitely use some other sweetener like white sugar or honey but I really love how this comes out)
1/2 teaspoon of peppercorns
2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 Fresno pepper (Jalapeno works just fine too)

Jar
You’ll also need:
-A mason or canning jar. I actually used old spaghetti sauce jars washed out very well and sterilized in the dishwasher. They are a weird in-between size.
-A Canning funnel (or something to help you get boiling liquid into the jar safely)
-A bit of plastic wrap or parchment paper (or plastic jar lids)

Washed

Chopped
1) Chop off the radish greens (use here if so inclined) and scrub the radishes. Chop the radishes into halves or quarters so they are of pleasing pickle size.
*note: this is a good time to gauge how many jars of veggies you actually have. Generally 1 bunch of radishes = 1 jar but could be more or less.

Peppers
2) Slice your chili pepper in half. You can leave the seeds in or take them out if you want a little less heat.

Spices
3) Stuff your chili pepper, garlic, and radishes into the jar and add the peppercorns.

pot
4) In a small pot add the vinegar, water, sea salt, and sugar and bring to a boil. Let bubble for a few minutes until the salt and sugar dissolve.

Waiting
5) Using a canning funnel, pour the hot liquid over your future pickles, covering them completely, and filling the jar with about half an inch to spare.

6) Cover with a small bit of plastic wrap and then screw the lid on tight. The plastic wrap helps keep the vinegar from corroding the metal lid. You can also buy plastic lids for this purpose. I learned this from my dear friend, Latisha.
*note: before you put the ring on the lid you can add a label if you want to be a little fancy. I used a free downloadable .pdf from Jenny Lee Fowler that I learned about in my subscription to Taproot Magazine to create my labels. So pretty!

Labels
7) Set out to cool to room temperature, then move them to the fridge.

Let the pickles be for at least 24 hours, but then they are ready to eat! I have heard they will last a month in the refrigerator but I wouldn’t know. In this house they are gone within a couple of days.

Enjoy!
Pickles
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The dynamics of the conversation with parents often changes in the flipped acquire more info classroom as well

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