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picklish

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

Recipe: fried pickles with green goddess aioli

I bid farewell to spring last week with a 17-mile trail run chased by an Andrew Bird concert at the Chautauqua Community House (125 seats and we were *this* close to the stage!) on Thursday. Then my parents made an awesome feast of a Chinese meal for us Friday evening including some of Jeremy’s favorite dishes. The next morning we packed the pup into the car and headed southwest to Crested Butte on the first day of summer. I wanted to catch the early summer wildflowers (which are very different from the mid-summer wildflowers) and well – it’s Jeremy’s happy place.


wonderful things: kaweah, summer solstice, crested butte

wallflowers in bloom

lupine nestled under aspen stands



Being in Crested Butte is also a nice opportunity to change up my trail runs and keep track of which flowers are blooming where. The trails I ran last month are no longer mudslides, but hardpack dirt. As I increase my distances, climbs, and elevations, I’m learning to also manage things like chafing, hot spots, fuel intake, rate of water intake, sun exposure, pacing, what to eat pre- and post run. Next up is filtering water on the trail because we are reaching the limit of what we can carry. I was completely oblivious to these issues at the start. No such thing as a simple run anymore.

green has arrived in the mountains

a quick snappy of purple larkspur with mount crested butte in the distance



One thing I don’t have to worry about as much is my caloric intake. Actually, I *DO* have to watch my caloric intake, but mostly to make sure I get enough calories to balance a 2000 calorie run. Something like that. The point is that I’m not shying away from the occasional fried snack which is why I ventured forth to make these irresistible fried pickles. The first time I had them was at Oak in Boulder, served with a side of green goddess aioli. If you love pickles and fried things, this is the ultimate combination. I suggest making the aioli first, because you’ll want to eat the pickles while they’re fresh and hot.

chives, parsley, dill, mayonnaise, lemon, garlic, salt, pepper, anchovy paste

grate the garlic

chop the herbs



**Jump for more butter**

don’t forget to cool down

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

Recipe: frozen strawberry basil lemonade

We wrapped up our time in Crested Butte with more riding, more trail running, and a fun dinner at our neighbors’ place. [Talk about a small world - our neighbor knows my uncle!] Then we packed up before sunrise Saturday morning and headed east. Kaweah did so well on the drive home. Normally she’s nervous and fidgety, but this time it was warm enough to have the windows down so she could sniff and watch all of the scenery go by. Kaweah was such a good girl. Everything seems to be an order of magnitude easier in summer: the packing, the travel, less gear, road conditions, weather, the dog.


riding at hartman rocks in gunnison

the lemon tart i brought for dessert at our neighbors’ place



Once home, we were greeted with fog and drizzle, a welcome reprieve from the relentless sunshine that can dominate mountain summers. Apparently, Nederland had received a good bit of moisture while we were away because every known weed had commandeered our front yard and walkway like a scene from some post-apocalyptic movie. But it was beautiful, lush, and green. The yard is dotted with colorful wildflower blooms and when you stand outside, all you can hear is the sound of hummingbirds zipping up, down, all around. Our trails continue to melt out slowly, but we are able to get more and more miles as winter retreats to the higher elevations.

gold banner dotted in morning dew

in search of trails that climb



Jeremy and I live for those cool, overcast summer days when we can slip out onto the trails without the sun beating down on us. More often than not, the sun is out and it is intense when you are above treeline and two miles above sea level. We make sure to drink plenty of water on the trail and post-workout. But it’s hard to resist one of those fruity, tart, sweet, frozen slushies in the late day sun. I was turned on to the frozen strawberry basil lemonade at The Secret Stash in Crested Butte, but when I’m home in Nederland, it’s easy enough to whip it up myself.

all you need: sugar, water, ice, basil, lemons, strawberries

combine the sugar and water to make a simple syrup

juice the lemons

hull the strawberries



**Jump for more butter**

so many ways about it

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Recipe: orange creamsicle frozen yogurt two ways

There is a short window of time in late spring when: 1) the road to the trailhead is closed to cars, but clear of snow 2) the trail is completely under snow and 3) the snow is firm enough to hoof it on foot. I live for this window because it’s when we do the bike-hike-ski, a triumvirate of springtime mountain activities. And it was HOT. 60°F at 10,000 feet with the sun roasting us from above (so more like broiling). There are always ways to get your ski on, it’s just a matter of how determined you are to get it. And we are not the only ones out there.

[Many of you inquired after the sunblock I had tested and liked. It is TerraSport SPF 30 which is not only non-greasy, rubs in well, non-sticky, and waterproof for 80 minutes, but it rates well on the Environmental Working Group site, which I trust. We are also in the process of testing Vanicream for sensitive skin.]


biking up to the trailhead

stashing the bikes in the trees

hiking up to the basin

skiing out

switching from skis to bikes (what a junk show)

ready to ride out



I love the snow, really love it. When we paused in the shade to fuel up and throw on some long-sleeve shirts (the sun at high altitude can be really harsh), I happily dropped my pack and plopped my butt in the snow. FELT GREAT. I know why Kaweah used to roll around in snow patches on summer hikes. I do it too. But at our house, the snow is a mere memory from a few weeks ago. The earliest wildflowers are starting to show their color in the yard and the hummingbirds are zipping about in super-aggro mode. Where is the relief from the sun? It’s in my freezer and it’s easy to make, so you can have relief in your freezer too. I’m talking about orange creamsicle frozen yogurt. Remember those orange creamsicle pops from the 70s, the decade that tried to kill us all with fake colors and flavors? It was so excellent, I made two versions.

smooth version: vanilla extract, grand marnier, oranges, sugar, plain yogurt

grate the orange zest

juice the oranges



**Jump for more butter**