Friday, August 19, 2011

Food Storage Friendly Friday - Pickling

Are you all canning your fool heads off? I know that sometimes at this time of year, that is what it seems like. It seems to me that the hotter the weather, the more canning going on in my house. Not exactly sure why that it but it sure seems that way.

Speaking of canning, I want to post a couple of links that I’ve been hanging on to for awhile now. One is for the re-useable canning lids – I’ve posted it before but someone asked for a repost so here it is.

The other link is for a home canning system, using actual cans. This is the same principle as the canners that do #10 cans, if you have used those before. This link however, is for the machine to can small cans. If you are so inclined you can actually buy a canner and can your fruits and vegetables in tin cans instead of bottles - at home. I have talked to several people who are putting some of their home canned food storage in cans, so that in the event of an earthquake, not all their preserved foods would be in glass jars. If you are interested in checking this out, here is the link for that.

The way I see it, the problem with canning is that, unfortunately, so many things ripen at the same time of year that it seems impossible to get everything canned and preserved that we’d like to. I know that every year I always look back and wish I’d done more or maybe tried a new variety of this or that but somehow it always seems like a race against time to get everything done. I always promise that I’ll do it next year.

Jams and jellies are easy to can and quick to do. Many vegetables ripen at the same time and need to be taken care of. I love canned beans, fruits and tomatoes and all the rest but occasionally I want to try something different.

Pickling is a big thing. You either love to pickle things and do all kinds of varieties or maybe you stay away from it all together. I especially love sweet pickles and sweet pickle relish and try to keep these on my shelves when I can but I also like pickling other things. Most pickled vegetables are great and if you have extra beans that you don’t want to can, it’s fun to make dilly beans. If you make these, you probably have your own special recipe. These can be made as mild or as spicy as you wish. For spicier beans, just up the amount of garlic and cayenne in each jar or you may wish to throw in some jalapeƱo to really spice it up. If you really like hot and spice, try the Thunder and Lightening Pickles.

I’m posting some of my favorite pickling and relish recipes. Some are spicy, some sweet. Some you can and preserve for another time of year and some you just refrigerate and eat now. Some use vegetables as well as cucumbers and all are just a little different. These recipes are all fun but different. I love them all and like the fact that they use different vegetables and spices and each has its own unique flavor and texture.

Dilly Beans
2 lbs. trimmed green beans (leave whole) (yellow wax beans are wonderful too)
¼ c. salt (non-iodized)
4 heads dill
4 garlic cloves or less (optional)
1 t. cayenne pepper (optional)
2 ½ c. vinegar
2 ½ c. water
Pack beans lengthwise into hot jars, leaving ¼” headspace. To each pint add ¼ t. cayenne pepper and 1 clove garlic or less and 1 head dill. Combine salt, vinegar and water and bring to a boil. Pour boiling hot over beans, leaving ¼” head space. Remove air bubbles and adjust caps. Process pints and quarts 10 minutes in boiling water bath.

Thunder and Lightning Pickles
In each quart jar put:
1 t. dill seed
1 t. crushed red pepper
1 clove garlic, minced (use canned if desired)
1 t. powdered alum
1 t. horseradish
Use large fat cucumbers. Peel and slice lengthwise (about ½” thick slices) and remove seeds. Place standing in bottles and fill with as many as you can get in. Bring to a boil:
1 ½ quart vinegar
2 ½ qt. water
1 c. salt
Pour over cucumbers and seal. Cold pack for 5 minutes. (Boiling water bath)

Sweet Bread and Butter Pickles

2 quarts pickling onions (2-3 lbs.)
2 quarts cauliflower florets (2 heads)
4 quarts medium size cucumbers, unpeeled and cut in pieces (about 7-9 large cucumbers)
Prepare above vegetables. Soak overnight in this mixture:
4 quarts water
1 c. salt (Not iodized)
Boil 15 minutes in:
1 pint of vinegar
2 t. turmeric
2 quarts water
Drain and rinse good in cold water. Pack vegetables into pint jars and make the syrup below and boil for 5 minutes:
10 c. sugar
5 c. vinegar
4 c. water
2 handfuls of pickling spices
After syrup has boiled, pour over pickles in jars. Add a pinch of alum in each bottle and seal.

Chow-chow pickles
4 c. cabbage, chopped (1 small head)
3 c. cauliflower, chopped (1 medium head)
2 c. onions, chopped
2 c. green tomatoes, chopped (about 4)
2 c. sweet green peppers, chopped (2)
3 T. salt
2 ½ c. vinegar
1 ½ c. sugar
2 t. dry mustard
2 t. celery seed
1 t. turmeric
1 t. mustard seed
½ t. ginger
Combine vegetables. Sprinkle with salt. Let stand 4-6 hours. Drain well. Combine vinegar, sugar and spices in a 6-8 quart pan. Simmer 10 minutes. Bring to a boil and ladle hot relish into hot jars leaving ½” headspace. Adjust caps and lids. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water bath. Y: 4 pint jars.

Yellow Squash Pickles – (a delicious refrigerated instead of canned pickle)

3 small yellow summer squash, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, chopped or sliced thin
1 large sweet red or green pepper cut into ¼” strips
1 T. salt
1 c. sugar
¾ c. white vinegar
¾ t. mustard seed
¾ t. celery seed
¼ t. ground mustard
In large bowl, combine squash, onion, peppers and salt. Cover and chill 1 hour; drain. In a large saucepan, combine remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Add squash mixture; return to a boil. Remove from heat. Cool. Store in airtight container in fridge for at least 4 days before eating. May be stored in fridge up to 1 month.

Cucumber Relish
12 large cucumbers
4 green peppers
1 red pepper
4 large onions
3 c. vinegar
5 c. sugar
2 T. salt
4 t. celery seed
4 t. mustard seed
3 t. turmeric
¼ t. cloves
Grind cucumbers, peppers and onions; sprinkle 2 T. salt over mixture and let set overnight. Add 1 qt. water. Boil 15 minutes. Drain and wash. Add vinegar, sugar, seeds and turmeric. Cook 20 minutes. Seal in jars. Y: about 8 pints.


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SusieQTpies said...

WOW you have a very informative blog! Love it. If you ever what to share a post over on my blog I'd love to have you as Guest Chef sometime. It can be of something you already have posted. It will link up to your blog,etc.

Thanks for stopping in and looking at the newest Gooseberry Patch Cookbook on my blog. Remember that it will go up for a giveaway on Sept. 3rd so stop on back over.

Have a super week! xoxo SusieQTpies