Pickle Recipes: Put Summer Flavor in a Jar
Easy pickle recipes for carrots, watermelon rind, and more.
Growing your own vegetables and preserving the harvest go hand in hand. A fruitful harvest brings with it the dilemma of what to do with all that fresh produce. Friends and family can only handle so many handouts, after all.
The time-honored tradition of canning fills the bill. After fading away for a generation or two, canning is once again growing in popularity. Putting food by – food preservation – is a multi-million dollar business in the United States.
Most canners agree that the process isn’t difficult, once the rules are learned. It can be time consuming, though – although most canners would agree that the time is well worth the effort.
The key is a good resource or lessons from an expert.
Learning at the knee of Mom or Grandma would be ideal; other sources include your local USDA Extension service or books at your local library. The Internet has a number of sites. Check out www.uga.edu/nchfp/index.html, the site of the National Center for Home Food Preservation, or www.homecanning.com from Jarden Foods.
My sister, Mary Ann, and her husband, Mike, enjoy the country life with a few acres on the outskirts of a small town in Kansas. Mary and Mike raise vegetables and a few calves, teaching their two children about nature and self-sufficiency at the same time.
“It’s great to be self-sufficient,” Mary says, “so you grow your own vegetables, can them and eat them all year long. It also tastes better.
“We’re doing it like it would have been done in the pioneer days. Taking care of ourselves, living off the land.”
Grit reader Goldie Aaron, of Marietta, Ohio, is looking for a recipe for Last of the Garden, which included lima beans, corn and green beans.
The recipes we received didn’t match Goldie’s description exactly, however, they sound fairly close. It seems to be a recipe that can be changed at will, depending on the produce in your garden.
Leona Hanson, of Middlefield, Ohio, sent a version she copied from her older Kerr and Ball canning books.
1 pound zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 pound tender green beans, ends removed
1/2 pound carrots (about 3 medium), cut into slices
1/2 pound small pickling onions, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 large green peppers, cut into 1/2-inch strips
1 large red pepper, cut into 1/2-inch strips
3 cups cider vinegar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons dry mustard
2 tablespoons mustard seed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
11/2 tablespoons salt
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