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Rockin' Recipe: The Tandem Pickling Brine🥒🥕

"Folks are always asking about our pickling brine here at the Tandem... summer produce is in full swing, it's a good time to have a pickling brine in one's back pocket, right?" -Caitlin

We couldn't agree more Caitlin, thanks for sharing!!


  • Equal parts water and white vinegar in a large, non-reactive saucepan

  • A good sprinkle each:

  • Whole black peppercorns

  • Dill seed

  • Mustard powder

  • Dehydrated onion flakes (or onion powder if you don’t have flakes)

  • Pinch crushed red pepper (or more if you like your pickles spicy)

  • 4-6 bay leaves

  • 1 - 1 ½ cup sugar

  • 4-5 hefty pinches salt

  • 3 cloves garlic smashed and/or cut in half (do not need to peel cloves)

  • Stir all ingredients together well and bring to a boil.

  • Once the liquid is boiling, turn the pot down to simmer and taste for seasoning (salt and sugar) - add more sugar or salt as needed.

  • Simmer for at least 10 minutes before straining hot boiling liquid over veggies ready to be pickled (sliced or whatever).

  • Refrigerate at least 24 hours before enjoying your pickled veggies, and keep pickles refrigerated if you do not plan to jar/can the products!

Free Meals for the Community:

When we decided to serve free meals to our community when this crisis first struck Milwaukee, we didn’t do it for attention; we did it because we were called to action. As wage workers ourselves – with little safety net, even less in savings, and few (if any) groceries at the crib cause we are always working and didn’t have time to stock up before shit got real – we knew we had to do something to help make sure our community got fed.

On Wednesday 18 March, we opened at 11am with 85 free meals… by 2pm they were all gone. That Thursday, we opened at 11am with nearly 150 meals… by 1pm they were all gone. On Friday, we opened at 11am and by 3pm, 200 meals had walked out the door. These days we serve over 5,000 meals per week, and the demand shows no sign of slowing up. What’s more, while a lot of the people we have been feeding have been a constituency that often rely on free assistance to feed themselves, we are seeing more and more patrons who are not the traditional food bank clientele – wage workers who have been laid off, service industry folks with no job to go to and not enough in the bank to eat at home much longer, and neighbors who are delivering meals to community members and families who are quarantined without supplies. We anticipate the need will only grow larger with every passing day of this crisis.

In times like these, when the target is constantly moving and all we can do is make the best informed decisions, we had to pivot from our original plan of serving paying customers curb-side and via delivery. We don’t know how long this crisis will last, but we plan on cooking free meals for any Milwaukeean in need until we run out of food, run out of money, or are told to go home. In an effort to keep the movement alive, we have been redistributing some of our donations to area restaurants to help fill our coolers and freezers with plenty of nourishing meals for the months ahead, while helping them pay the few folks they are able to maintain on their payroll. We have been working with Strange Town, Goodkind, Three Brothers, Terri Lynn’s Soul Food Diner, The National Cafe, Bavette, DanDan, The Laughing Taco, Delicious Bites, Club Charlie’s, Emerald City Catering, the Focused Fork, The Pasta Tree, Public Table, FreshChef, Uncle Wolfie’s Breakfast Tavern, Funky Fresh Spring Rolls, Amilinda, Lazy Susan, Brandywine, McBob’s, Gingerz Pub, Tall Guy + A Grill, Cloud Red, Company Brewing, Cafe Corazon, Belli’s Bistro, Sauce + Spice Pizza, Orenda Cafe, Milwaukee Classic Pizza, Rise and Grind Cafe, Holy Land Deli + Bakery, Sanford, Razzle Dazzle Catering, Birch + Butcher, Meat on the Street, Mi Casa Su Cafe, Big Daddy’s BBQ + Soul Food, Old Town Serbian Gourmet, Fauntleroy, and local Somali chef, Halimo Geal, to supplement our supply of meals, and hope to spread the love as much as we can.

Love, Peace, + Chicken Grease

Caitlin + The Tandem Crew

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