Wednesday, May 28, 2008

In a pickle - a pickling primer

Ever wonder how many pickled peppers are in a peck a la Peter Piper? Eight quarts of peppers. That's a lot of pickles. Peter must have been a fan and he's not alone. All over the world, a variety of foods are pickled; onions, okra, eggs, turnips, tomatoes, cauliflower - and yes, even peppers.

Making your own pickles gives you the chance to really tweak the flavors you like best. Want more garlic or jalapeno? More sweet or more sour? I had (and lost unfortunately) a great recipe for dill cucumbers that featured mustard seeds. It made tremendous pickles; far better than anything at the grocery store.

If you are like me, you might be a bit hesitant to pickle for fear of food contamination. We can fear not, however, because pickling and some basic precautions really does make it easy to prepare foods that are well preserved and safe. Here is a link to some basics on the art of pickling. There is also some good info on using old pickling recipes versus modern standards here.

As for the recipes, there is no shortage of pickling recipes to try. Here are few basic ones to get you started:
Dill Cucumbers, Bread and Butter Pickles, Green Tomato Pickles, and of course, peppers.


Buck said...

I love love love bread & butter pickles on a grilled cheese sandwich. Wow. Talk about comfort food. . .

Doralong said...

Now I have an overwhelming craving for pickled green beans..

Heather said...

pickled sausage....soooooooo yummy.