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Music Musings: Archers of Loaf Vee Vee Reissue

Merge has a date for the next Archers reissue – Vee Vee will come out February 21 as double-CD, limited-edition green LP and digital download. I still gotta get the Icky Mettle reissue, I’m running way behind. The tracklist:

Disc 1 –
1. Step into the Light
2. Harnessed in Slums
3. Nevermind the Enemy
4. Greatest of All Time
5. Underdogs of Nipomo
6. Floating Friends
7. 1985
8. Fabricoh
9. Nostalgia
10 Let the Loser Melt
11. Death in the Park
12. The Worst Has Yet to Come
13. Underachievers March and Fight Song

Disc 2 –
1. Harnessed in Slums ’95 (Bob Weston Radio Mix, 1995)
2. Telepathic Traffic (“Harnessed in Slums” single, Alias, 1995)
3. Don’t Believe the Good News (“Harnessed in Slums” single, Alias, 1995)
4. Smoking Pot in the Hot City (7” single, Esther, 1995)
5. Mutes in the Steeple (7” single, Esther, 1995)
6. Mark Price P.I. (out of print)
7. Bacteria (The Speed of Cattle, Alias, 1996)
8. Equinox (unreleased) (J. Coltrane)
9. (Big Joe and) Phantom 309 (out of print) (T. Faile)
10. 1985 (Marathon Boombox Demo)
11. Fabricoh (Marathon Boombox Demo)
12. Nostalgia (Marathon Boombox Demo)
13. Let the Loser Melt (Vee Vee 4-Track Demo)
14. Underdogs of Nipomo (Vee Vee 4-Track Demo)
15. Nevermind the Enemy (Vee Vee 4-Track Demo)
16. Don’t Believe the Good News (Vee Vee 4-Track Demo)

Pickles: Bread and Butter Zucchini

The summer zucchini crop is arriving at Brooklyn farmers markets, and this is a great vegetable to substitute for cucumbers when making bread and butter pickles. Zucchini retains the same crunch and crispness as cucumber when pickled, but it has an earthier flavor that makes it a great addition to sandwiches. And it goes great with cheap beer, as do most pickles. I adapted a recipe from The Joy of Pickling here, by cutting quantities in half and adding hot pepper flakes to complement the sweetness. Sure, the apartment stinks liked boiled vinegar, but in three weeks we’ll have two mason jars full of bread and butter zucchini.

Makes about 2.5 pints

  • 2 pounds zucchini, 1 inch in diameter, sliced into 3/16-inch rounds (about 1 quart)
  • 1/2 pound small onions, sliced into thin rounds (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup pickling salt (sea salt works well)
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons whole yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon whole celery seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes

Put the zucchini and onions into a bowl and toss the vegetables with the salt. Cover the vegetables with ice cubes from 2 ice trays. Let the vegetables stand at room temperature for 2 hours.

Drain the vegetables well. In a nonreactive pot (stainless steel is best here), bring to a boil the vinegar, sugar, and spices. Add the vegetables and, over medium heat, slowly bring them to a boil, stirring frequently. Simmer them for 5 to 7 minutes, until the bright skin of the zucchini turns olive.

Ladle the vegetables and liquid into pint mason jars – sterilize in very hot water in the sink first – leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Close the jars with hot two-piece caps. No need to hot water process, you can stick them in the fridge for 3 weeks before eating the pickles. After opening a jar, store it in the refrigerator.