Archive | August, 2012

How to organize a pickle party

25 Aug

Step one: Buy lots of veggies from local producers.

  • Carrots
  • Mushrooms
  • Yellow & green zucchini
  • Pickling cucumbers
  • Green & yellow beans
  • Banana peppers
  • Pearl onions
  • Cauliflower
  • Asparagus

Step two: Pick up other ingredients, organize equipment and jars.

  • INGREDIENTS: pickling vinegar, salt, and seasonings (peppercorns, garlic, mustard seeds, chili flakes, herbs, etc.)
  • EQUIPMENT: a few large stockpots, water baths, tongs, ladles, heat proof mitts, cutting boards, sharp knives and latex gloves if you’ll be handling hot peppers.
  • JARS: have a variety of sizes, new lids and rings

Step three: Corral your friends around your biggest kitchen island for a 5-6 hour session. I’ve found that having 4-5 people make for a pretty efficient system.  Order in some dinner to make life easier.

Step four: Delegate.  These are the tasks required to transform a bushel of veggies into a box of jarred pickles:

INSIDE JOBS

  1. Wash veg
  2. Cut veg into various sizes
  3. Sterilize jars
  4. Stuff veg into jars

OUTSIDE JOBS

  1. Make brine
  2. Boil water in water baths
  3. Fill jars with brine
  4. Top with lids and rings
  5. Process in water bath

Step five: Clean up and toast your inner Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Check the lids to make sure your jars all sealed.  Remove the rings and store in a cool dark place.  Wait a few weeks before cracking open a jar.

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