Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pickle-y Goodness


Dave & I visited family in Ottawa a couple of years back, and while we were there, we went to the Canada Agriculture Museum. While we were there, one of the demonstrators was canning up pickled carrot sticks. Before I started preserving the harvest, I wasn't that huge of a pickle fanatic; I mean, I like some pickles, but I know that some people like all kinds of pickled things. These pickled carrots were absolutely marvellous. So I knew I had to have the recipe, and lo! they had the recipe right there for us to take away.

Pickled Carrot Sticks

4 lbs carrots, peeled & cut into 4" sticks
6 fresh dill sprigs or 3 tsp dill seed
18 peppercorns
6 cloves garlic, peeled & thickly sliced
3 1/2 cups cider vinegar
2 1/2 cups water
1/3 cup honey

  • Boil water, vinegar & honey
  • Raw pack carrots with 1 clove garlic, 3 peppercorns and one sprig of fresh dill or 1/2 tsp dill seed per scalded pint jar.
  • Pour hot liquid over carrots to 1/4" headspace, and use non-reactive utensil to remove air bubbles.
  • Process for 15 minutes in boil water bath canner (or whatever is appropriate for your altitude).
And of course, if you're pickling, why not do pickled cucumbers?

Dill Slices

4 lbs medium cucumbers
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup pickling salt
4 cups cider vinegar (see *Note below)
4 cups water
3 tbsp pickling spices in tea ball or spice bag
5 bay leaves
5 garlic cloves, peeled & thickly sliced
5 heads fresh dill or 5 tsp dried dill seed
2 1/2 tsp mustard seed
  • Wash cucumbers, scrubbing lightly with soft vegetable brush to remove spines. Cut 1/8" off blossom end and discard. Cut into 1/4" slices or rounds
  • Combine water, vinegar and salt, and place tea ball or spice bag of spices in, bring to a boil & simmer 15 minutes.
  • Add honey, dissolve, and bring back to boil.
  • Into each scalded pint jar, place 1 bay leaf, 1 garlic clove, 1/2 tsp mustard seed and 1 head of fresh dill or 1 tsp dill seed.
  • Pack cucumber slices into hot jar with 3/4" headspace. Add hot pickling liquid and cover to within 1/2" headspace, and use non-reactive utensil to remove air bubbles.
  • Process in boil water bath canner for 15 minutes (or whatever is appropriate for your altitude).
Note: When I do this recipe, I always get about 1 L of liquid left over from 6 pint jars. As a result, I've got pickling liquid left for another batch.

We have usually an over-abundance of lovely French filet green beans (we grow Maxibel), and while we freeze a lot, we thought it'd be nice to try some kind of pickle recipe. This one is a winner, and is fantastic with dumplings like pot-stickers.

Dilled Green Beans

4 lbs green beans, tipped & snapped into pieces (of course, if you want to have competition worthy beans, then Blue Lake is apparently king, and you want them cut exactly to fit your pint jars. Meh, I say; I just wanna eat them!)
4 cups cider vinegar
4 cups water
1/2 cup pickling salt
1/3 cup honey
3 tbsp pickling spices into tea ball or spice bag
7 cloves garlic, peeled and cut thickly
3 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
3 1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes
7 heads fresh dill heads or 7 tsp dried dill seeds
  • Bring to boil vinegar, water, salt & spices; reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Add honey, dissolve, & bring back to boil.
  • Into scalded pint jars, place one clove garlic, 1/2 tsp mustard seed, 1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes, 1 head fresh dill or 1 tsp dill seed.
  • Pack bean pieces into hot jars.
  • Ladle hot pickling liquid into jars, leaving 1/2" headspace, and use non-reactive utensil to remove air bubbles.
  • Process in boiling water bath canner for 10 mintues (or whatever is appropriate for your altitude).

1 comment:

Almost Monday said...

Amie,
I love pickled things! While in Japan recently I couldn't get enough of their pickles! (could have been because I wasn't getting enough leafy greens but still) A couple years back we had tons of tomatoes that didn't ripen due to the cool summer. What do you do with all those green tomatoes? Pickle them! :) Now, I've had mixed reviews, but I still feel they are a viable option. I'm so looking forward to spring and summer!! Can't wait to see what our gardens have in store for us this year!