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Pickling questions....

 
pollinator
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I am relatively new to canning, having started 2 years ago... I have mostly stuck to pickles, because a) I don't have excess fruit, b) I don't have a pressure canner, and c) pickling strikes me as the most fool proof way of canning, and d) I like pickles!

First- I have run I to two kinds of recipe, the most common boils the veggies, then puts them in a jar, then boils them. The other kind puts the veggies and raw ingredients in a jar, covers them in brine, and then boils. What are the advantages of the first method? The second seems much simpler.

I have also run into two common situations, and am wondering if anyone has workarounds

1) only one jar worth or so of several things, so you want to make, say, pickled beans, zucchini, and peppers all at once. Does anyone make one brine, and use it for all the types of pickles, and just process the different jars for varying amounts of time?

2) similarly, if you,  want to make, say, both bread and butter zucchini and dill zucchini at the same time, can you do something similar?

Why, or why are these not good ideas?  

Also, small gripe about how everytime I google how to pickle something, the first 3-5 recipes always seem to be refrigerator pickles, but don't say so until you read the instructions and discover no canning step.

Also- anyone have favourite pickle or relish recipes they want to share? Especially for zucchini, peppers, and beans.
.
 
pollinator
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Hi Catie,
I love pickles too! And by love, I mean I may have a problem. I've pickled rhubarb, mushrooms, nasturtium seeds, broccoli stems, etc etc...

The first method you describe is called 'hot packing'. It is mostly recommended because it ensured that there are no pathogens inside your jars, on your veg, and minimizes their introduction during transfer. The only downside to this process it that if you did a live fermentation, you not only kill off the good microbes, but you potentially loose the crunch of a good sour pickle. Your water bath times are somewhat reduced with this method.

The second method, pure 'water bath' is considered by some to be slightly higher risk for pathogen contamination. It has the same drawbacks if you are hoping for a live ferment, but you can squeeze more food into each jar because packing manipulation is easier with cool veg. I've found I can still get a good crunch, even with the longer boiling times.

My favorite recipe right now is for cranberry rhubarb chutney! I sub local lingonberries for cran, and rhubarb is one thing that grows like a weed in the Yukon. I'll try to find the recipe to post.
 
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The pre-boiling recipes are boiling vegetables in advance to get a softer texture, and some vegetables are better this way. If you're not sure whether a particular vegetable will go well in the raw pack method or not, you can search online and see if there are other recipes that use raw packing for that vegetable.

You can definitely make different batches with the same brine and can different things at the same time.

I write my own recipes and tinker with other peoples recipes until they're right for me so I don't have many quick to link at the moment, I will find a zucchini bread and butter pickle recipe for you that I've made before and liked a lot, and developed my own honey-sweetened version of.

Here it is: http://www.grownandgathered.com.au/blog-archive-1/zucchini-pickles

I sometimes find that there's not enough brine with that recipe, so I just quickly make up extra as it is needed, I make it with half turnips half zucchini sometimes also.
 
Chris Sturgeon
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3 pounds rhubarb (5 cups diced)
1 cup diced onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup crystallized ginger (I use 1cup fresh)
2 cups dried cranberries (I substitute lingonberries)
1 Tbs nutmeg
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1/2 teaspoon coriander seed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup apple cider vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
1 cup brown sugar

Combine and simmer until thick, adjust spice to taste.
Sterilize jars and lids, hot pack chutney and water bath for 10 minutes.
serve with meat, cheese, on sandwiches (especially grilled!), with curries, or by the spoon full out of the cupboard.
ffc3f58a-33aa-4f1a-847f-ca5bd3ab1ba3-rhubarb_chutney.jpg
Rhubarb Chutney
Rhubarb Chutney
 
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Both hot pack, and cold pack recipes have been well vetted. Bottling is 100 year old technology. We know how to do it very well, and very safely.

The main difference that I observe between hot pack and cold pack, is that hot packing allows me to fit more fruit/vegetable into the bottle, and less brine. Cold pack retains crispness better, (great for cucumbers, or squash). As already mentioned, hot-pack can soften harder vegetables, like carrots. Hot pack is typically used for sauces, jams, and jellies to dissolve added sugars, or aid in mixing, or to get the mixture to the jell-point.

I use a couple of standard brines for pickling. A sweet spiced brine, and a dilled brine. I make them up in a large batch, and then use what I want in small batches as vegetables become available.



 
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I like relishes and my favorites are Chow Chow and India Relish.

Here is the Squash Relish that I like:



https://permies.com/t/90577/kitchen/summer-squash#742304


Chow Chow.  I make mine with green tomatoes, bell peppers, cabbage and onions.

https://permies.com/t/28150/kitchen/green-tomato-preservation-recipes#501387


What I call India Relish is a bell pepper relish with onions and a few tomatoes for added colors. This is the closest recipe I could find for what I call India Relish:



https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/bell-pepper-relish-2680

Pickled Onions:

https://permies.com/t/75850/kitchen/Pickled-onions#627312




 
Catie George
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Kate Downham wrote:The pre-boiling recipes are boiling vegetables in advance to get a softer texture, and some vegetables are better this way. If you're not sure whether a particular vegetable will go well in the raw pack method or not, you can search online and see if there are other recipes that use raw packing for that vegetable.



Joseph Lofthouse wrote:The main difference that I observe between hot pack and cold pack, is that hot packing allows me to fit more fruit/vegetable into the bottle, and less brine. Cold pack retains crispness better, (great for cucumbers, or squash). As already mentioned, hot-pack can soften harder vegetables, like carrots. Hot pack is typically used for sauces, jams, and jellies to dissolve added sugars, or aid in mixing, or to get the mixture to the jell-point.
I use a couple of standard brines for pickling. A sweet spiced brine, and a dilled brine. I make them up in a large batch, and then use what I want in small batches as vegetables become available.



Chris Sturgeon wrote:]The first method you describe is called 'hot packing'. It is mostly recommended because it ensured that there are no pathogens inside your jars, on your veg, and minimizes their introduction during transfer. The only downside to this process it that if you did a live fermentation, you not only kill off the good microbes, but you potentially loose the crunch of a good sour pickle. Your water bath times are somewhat reduced with this method.

The second method, pure 'water bath' is considered by some to be slightly higher risk for pathogen contamination. It has the same drawbacks if you are hoping for a live ferment, but you can squeeze more food into each jar because packing manipulation is easier with cool veg. I've found I can still get a good crunch, even with the longer boiling times.



Thank you! This is exactly what I was trying to figure out. The best answer I saw before from Google  was, itdepends on the recipe makers preference, which wasn't enough of an answer for my inquiring mind!

I have not, I admit, gotten into fermented pickles, although I would love to try them. I am somewhat scarred from hating the taste of the homemade sauerkraut and jarred bread fermented cucumber pickles my parents used to make. Hopefully my taste buds are now mature enough to appreciate fermented food.

Anne-those look delicious, and I have wanted to try relish.

Kate- I will try that!

Chris- you had me at rhubarb. Unfortunately, the 7 plants I put in this year are not producing much yet. But saving that recipe for next year!


Here are the results of my pickling -dilly beans, zucchini pickles, and hot peppers. With the zucchini just starting to really produce... more to follow!
20190902_133742.jpg
pickling -dilly beans
pickling -dilly beans
 
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