Cheater, cheater pickle eater
After several, ok four, months of not pickling, I decided that in 2014 The Pickle Chick needed to resurface. To get back into the swing of things, I took a pickling shortcut. I received The Girl & The Fig picking spice trio as a gift awhile ago and decided that last night was the night to try it. The best thing about the Vert spice jar I used is that it accommodated all the veggies I had in my refrigerator- carrots, bell pepper, zucchini, broccoli and jalapeños. Combine one jar spice, 3lbs veggies with 14 cups liquid (10 vinegar and 4 water), 4 cups sugar and 1/4 cup kosher salt and voila. No pressurizing/pasteurizing needed. The pickled veggies chilling in the fridge will be ready in 48 hours.
HALF-SOURS FOR THE NEW YEAR
According to my primary pickling book, “The Joy of Pickling” by Linda Ziedrich, “half-sours aren’t pickles taken prematurely from their brine, rather, they’re cured quickly in a low-salt brine, which hastens the fermentation, so the pickles never get very sour, no matter how long they remain in the brine.”
This recipe required steps that I have never done before. Including: creating a seal with a Ziploc bag, letting the pickles sit a room temperature for three days, so that fermentation begins, then skimming off scum and sealing the jar. This is definitely a unique pickling method, and I am excited to taste the results.
Cheers to 2013 and more pickling adventures,
The Pickle Chick
HOME (MADE) FOR THE HOLIDAYS
2012 has been an absolute blur, and lately my pickling and blogging efforts have suffered. However, as I made my Christmas gift list a month ago- I knew I needed to get busy. I always try and give personal, and if possible, handmade gifts.
Rewind a couple of months ago… This fall, I was given a bag of jalapenos from my uncle’s garden, and while I love jalapenos I didn’t quite know what to do with an entire bag of them. To my recipes books I went and I found a fantastic Texas Jalapeno Jelly recipe. I have to admit jelly intimidated me a little, but it is basically the same steps as pickling, so I tried it. The results were the best jalapeno jelly I have ever eaten.
Now back to early December…The simplicity, color and a small jar size made Jalapeno Jelly the perfect gifts for coworkers, family and friends. My lovely mom made the hang tags and helped me get enough knifes, spoons and forks to accompany the jelly and other pickled gifts. The results were personal, practical, cute and tasty holiday gifts; which have been graciously received.
‘Tis the Season,
The Pickle Chick
Taste of Home Canning Magazine
Who knew that canning is so popular there is a quarterly magazine? Well, I didn’t until recently and I have to say it is amazing. I mean I guess all things are relative, but I write a blog about pickling and I think it is really great. The magazine is full of seasonal pickling, jam, jelly and canning recipes. 143 recipes to be exact. I have dog-eared almost every page, and tonight I was anxious to try a pickling concoction out. I started with familiar veggies, cucumbers, jalapeno and dill. I wonder how these pickles will stack up?
I call my Aunt Karen my soul aunt because as I am becoming older we share so many things in common- we are from the same cloth. We recently spent the afternoon together, and she has the most amazing apple tree I have ever seen. Truly, this tree produces enough apples for the entire neighborhood. However, the apples are really best used in baking. I don’t bake, but I decided to climb the ladder and collect a bag full determined to find a pickling recipe, and I did.
The recipe starts with making a syrup comprised of cinnamon, allspice berries, cloves, cider vinegar, water and sugar. Then the apples boil with the syrup mixture and let set for several hours. Then it is jarred and processed. The recipe says these apples are a great compliment to roasted and grilled meats.
Perfect for a fall meal, and now my house smells like fall too.
I have said, “you can pickle almost everything.” Sunflower seeds is an exception.
I love giving my pickled goods away as gifts. They are great hostess gifts, perfect to bring to summer BBQ’s, and family, friends and co-workers seem to love getting a jar of my pickled fare too. I found the above pictured kit in Serenbe, GA at an adorable general store that we stopped in on our way to Atlanta. The kit includes pretty labels to customize jars, as well as patterned toppers and strings. My pickled goods just got a lot cuter.
The Pickle Chick
PICKLES WITH MOM
My mom and I had dinner last week, and then I invited her over for some pickling. She was so helpful and had great recipe substitution ideas. Because lets be honest, I rarely have every single ingredient on hand. The first recipe we made was Pickled Carrots with Celery, Oregano and Olive Oil, recipe below. This was the first time I pickled with olive oil and I have to say the end product turned out really great.
Pickled Carrots with Celery, Oregano and Olive Oil (from The Joy of Pickling, by Linda Ziedrich)
- 1/2 pound carrots, cut into 4-inch stalks
- 1/2 teaspoon pickling salt
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed black peppercorn
- 1 large or 2 small celery stalks, cut into 4-inch stalks, and the celery tops
- 1 oregano sprig- I substituted a teaspoon of Herbes de Provence
- 1 dried hot pepper- I substituted a teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 cup white wine vinegar- I substituted 3/4 cups cider vinegar and 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
1. Blanch carrots in boiling water
2. Put salt and peppercorns into a pint jar. Pack the celery, carrots and celery tops, herbs, and hot peppers into the jar. Pour enough vinegar to cover the carrots and celery. Add the oil and close jar tightly.
3. Refrigerate the jar for at least a day. Will keep for least 2 months. Serve them at room temperature.
The second recipe we cheated and used a Kosher Dill Pickle Mix pre-mix packet by Ball. I am so curious what the easy way out tastes like. I sent a jar home with my mom and kept a few for myself. I will let you know in three weeks how they turned out.
While celebrating Independence Day in the CO mountains, we happened upon some serious festival food and a Pickle Dog. Similar to a corn dog, but so much better. A dill pickle is hollowed out, and the hot dog is inserted into the pickle, the stick is added and into the fryer it goes. While the Pickle Dog gets a A+ for originality, the taste was just a C. But, of course we had to try it!
In other news, I got several organic veggies delivered today and frequented a farmers market yesterday. So I will be pickling up a storm this week and expect some new recipe posts soon.
The Pickle Chick
Pickles on the road continued. South Carolina