Sunday, July 8, 2012

Lazy Pickles

Like I've mumbled more than a few times, I keep trying to come up with ways to keep track of my canning, and generally failing at each one. So I'll go back to dropping it in a blog, and see how /that/ goes.

First off, do not accidentally stick your fingers in boiling water becuase you are using a taller canning kettle than usual. It will mean that you have to backseat drive the rest of your canning for the day while you whimper with an ice pack on your hand. Bad Idea.

Lazy pickles. Sterilize jars. Shove in spices and veggies. Pour brine over. Process. Done.

Alright, so there's more to it than that.

Zucchini: sliced thin on the mandoline (1/4" or so? Ish?), sprinkled with kosher salt, left to draw the moisture out.

Green Beans: Cut to fit the jars.

Asparagus: Cut to fit the jars.

I made my own pickling spice this time, from the Bernardin big recipe book. (Complete book of Home Preserving), with some changes.

Pickling Spice
Cinnamon stick (about 4 inches, 2 small ones), crushed
5 bay leaves, crushed
2 tbsp mustard seed
1 tbsp whole allspice
1 tbsp peppercorns
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tbsp dill seeds
2 tsp cardamom pods
2 tsp hot pepper flakes
1 tsp whole cloves
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds

 Put in jar (250 ml worked well for me). Shake. In retrospect, I would not have put in the ground ginger. I am really hating how it makes my pickle juice look cloudy.

This particular batch of various vegetable pickles went as follows. Into a 500 ml jar I tossed in a tablespoon or so of chopped sweet pepper onion mix (yes, the frozen stuff, thawed, I told you these were lazy), a dried hot pepper in half of them, and then a half tablespoon of pickling spice. Add veggies. Add brine. Process. Two of the green bean jars (of the 4 total, I got more beans than I thought)  didn't get pickling spice, but instead got a couple teaspoons worth of dill seed. (what can I say, I <3 me some dill). Those also got brine made with cider vinegar, as I'd run of of the original brine and needed to make more)

The brine (from Bernardin's guide to home preserving)

5 cups vinegar (white or cider)
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 2/3 cups water
4 tsp pickling salt

Mix, boil, pour over veggies.

None of the veggies were cooked or blanched before they got hot brine put over them, and then processed for 15 mins in hot water bath.

We shall see how they taste in a few weeks!

No comments: