|Pickling and Relish Pointers
Submitted by: Cricket
|Pickles, relishes, and
chutneys are vegetables prepared with brine (salt and water) or
vinegar and some sugar and spices. The vinegar acts as a
preservative, keeping any spoilage organisms from growing.
Sealing pickled foods in jars and processing in a boiling water
bath helps keep them fresh, crisps and free from mold.
Whole, sliced, or chunked vegetables cooked in vinegar or a
vinegar sugar syrup, can become pickles. Chopped or ground
combinations cooked with vinegar, sugar, and spices become
relishes. Chutneys are highly spiced fruit and/or vegetable
The old fashioned dill pickles and sauerkraut are actually
fermented in brine, rather than cooked in vinegar. The brine,
plus the sugar from the cucumber
or cabbage, promote a special kind of bacterial action that,
over several days or weeks, changes cucumbers pickles and
transforms cabbage to kraut.
Because certain ingredients are very important for proper
pickling, you'll need to be aware of some of the following
Use produce that is as fresh as possible. Take it from
the garden to your kitchen and into jars just as rapidly as
possible. If you can't process the produce immediately, be sure
to keep it refrigerated. Vegetables should be just barely ripe;
they'll keep their shape better than if they were fully ripe.
Always select cucumber varieties that have been created for
pickling. The large salad cucumbers were developed for salads,
not for pickles. Use smaller,
less pretty cukes, with pale skins, plenty o bumps, and black
spines. Never use waxed cucumbers. Select evenly shaped and
sized vegetables for even cooking and better looking pickles.
Water is an important pickle ingredient, especially
for long brined pickles. Soft water is best. Hard water can
cloud the brine or discolor the pickles. If
you don't have soft water, boil hard water for 15 minutes, then
let it stand overnight. Skim off the scum, then carefully dip
out what you need so you
won't get any sediment from the bottom. Then add 1 tablespoon of
salt for each gallon; or you can use distilled water if your
water is hard.
Salt, too, makes a difference. Table salt contains
special additives to prevent it from caking in your shaker, and
these materials can cloud brine. Iodized salt can darken brine.
use only pure, granulated salt, also known as kosher salt,
pickling salt, or dairy salt. Most supermarkets stock it with
Vinegar is a crucial ingredient for many pickle
recipes. Check the label when you shop, and be sure to get a
good quality vinegar of from 4 to 6 percent
acidity (sometimes listed as 40 to 60 grain). Weaker vinegar
will not pickles foods. use distilled white vinegar for light
colored pickles, cider vinegar for
darker foods or more interesting flavor.
Sugar can be brown or white granulated, depending on
the lightness or darkness of food to be pickled. Or, if you wish,
use half corn syrup or honey and half sugar. Don't use sugar
substitutes unless you follow their manufacturers' directions.
Spices must be fresh. Old spices will make your
pickles taste musty. Most recipes call for whole spices, which
give stronger flavor and don't color the pickles as much. It is
suggested you tie the spices in a cheesecloth bag and add them
to the kettle during cooking, then remove the bag before packing
the pickles into jars. Some cooks like to leave whole spices in
the jars for stronger flavor and just for appearance's sake, but
loose spices may darken the pickles somewhat.
Alum, lime, and other ingredients added to crisp or
color pickles are not necessary, and their use is not
recommended. These ingredients are often found in old fashioned
recipes. Most of the newer recipes won't need any of these
is a great summer relish to serve with chips, or
even on a hamburger.
Submitted by: Sugie
1 large onion diced
2 tablespoons diced jalapenos
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, diced
2 teaspoon salt
teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
ingredients together in large container until
well blended. Allow to sit for at least 6 hours,
it is better if allowed to sit overnight.
cups coarsely chopped zucchini
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 cups chopped green pepper
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon salt
5 cups sugar
3 cups vinegar
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
2 teaspoons turmeric
2 teaspoons prepared mustard
onion, green pepper, garlic, and salt in a large bowl; add ice
water to cover. Let stand 3 hours; drain well. Combine 1cup
water, sugar vinegar, mustard seeds, turmeric, and mustard in a
large dutch oven; bring to a boil. Add zucchini mixture, and
boil 10 min. Quickly ladle hot mixture into hot sterilized jars,
leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles, and wipe jar
rims. Cover at once with metal lids, and screw on bands. Process
in boiling water bath 10 minutes. Yield : 4 quarts.
To submit your favorite recipes to be
included in the Garden of Friendship Recipe Book,
please email them to Barbiel
Background graphics made especially for the
Recipes Committee of the Garden of Friendship by Valatine