Home Made Pickles

Home-Made Pickles

For extra relish there’s nothing like home-made pickles.

You can preserve vegetables for all-year-round use by pickling in various ways. Pickles are delicious always with cold meats and often add piquancy to hot dishes. And for savory making for supper or cocktails pickles are invaluable. So learn to make your own from the recipes given here.

Pickles are useful for giving zest to various dishes. Here are some ready for the table, onion and mixed mustard pickles. The red cabbage in the picture and many of those fresh succulent vegetables shown on the left may also be pickled.

Various vegetables can be pickled, but for success you must keep in mind some important points.

These are:

1. Use an enamel or aluminium pan for cooking and a wooden spoon for stirring pickles.

2. For most pickles, have best malt vinegar, but for clear pickles white vinegar gives a better appearance.

3. Too much salt in the brine toughens and shrivels the vegetables to be pickled.

4. Too strong vinegar may bleach the vegetables or cause them to soften after pickling.

5. Always have wide-necked bottles, which must be perfectly clean, dry, and warm before the pickle is put in them.

6. The bottles must be absolutely airtight; to do this, cork tightly, then cover with melted bottling wax.

RED CABBAGE PICKLE

One red cabbage, pepper and salt, and sufficient vinegar to fill bottles.

Strip outer leaves of cabbage, cut  into four, wash thoroughly. Remove centre hard stalk, shred remainder of vegetable finely. Spread to shredded cabbage on a flat enamel tray and sprinkle it with 1 tablespoons salt. Cover with another dish and allow to stand 24 hours. Drain in a colander, dry with a clean cloth. Place in glass jars. Boil up the vinegar (add 1oz. peppercorns to each quart of vinegar) and fill the jars with it, being sure that the cabbage is well covered with vinegar. The pickle should be eaten soon after making, as it does not keep very long.

PICKLED ONIONS

Small button onions, white vinegar to every quart of vinegar use 1 oz. peppercorns, 10 cloves, 1 tablespoon salt, 1 oz. whole ginger.

Peel onions with a stainless steel knife to preserve color. Boil vine gar with cloves, salt, peppercorns, ginger for 5 minutes, cool slightly Pour onto onions, stand 1 hour. Pour off and boil up again. This time have onions in bottles and when vinegar is cool pour over them, and allow to stand for 10 days when they will be ready for use. Cork and seal.

MIXED MUSTARD PICKLES

five quarts vegetables (a mixture cauliflower, chokoes, beans, cucumbers), ½ cup flour, 6 tablespoons mustard, 1 tablespoon turmeric, 1 large cup sugar, a few chillies and gherkins If liked, 1 teaspoon cayenne, 2 quarts best vinegar.

Prepare vegetables and cut into even-sized pieces. Place in a large basin and cover with a strong brine made with ½ cup salt, and sufficient water to cover vegetables. Allow to stand 24 hours. Heat the vegetables in the brine for 15 minutes to thoroughly scald them, then drain in a colander.

Mix flour, turmeric, and mustard into a smooth paste with vinegar, then heat rest of vinegar, add sugar and cayenne and stir in the flour, mustard, and turmeric, and boil for 8 minutes. Add vegetables and cook 15 minutes. A little more sugar or salt may be added if desired.

Place in pickle bottles, tightly cork, and cover with bottling wax.

PICKLED GHERKIN’S

Wash gherkins and sprinkle thickly with salt while still wet, and let them remain in the brine for 3 days. At the end of the time drain, dry, and pack in a large jar. Boil sufficient vinegar to cover gherkins, with spices in the proportion of 4 cloves, ½ oz. peppercorns, ¼ oz. allspice, and 2 blades of mace to each quart of vinegar, and let them stand until the next day. Drain the liquid off; boil it again and pour over the gherkins, leaving them until the following day. This process must be repeated until the gherkins are a green color. Then pack them into glass jars, cover with the vinegar, and tightly cork and cover with wax.

PICKLED WATERMELON RIND

Four pounds watermelon rind, 4 lb. sugar, 2 pints vinegar, 2 pints water, 2 thinly sliced lemons, 2 tablespoons crushed stick cinnamon, 2 teaspoons cloves, 2 teaspoons allspice, ½ teaspoon cayenne.

Peel rind, cut up into blocks, and soak in brine (using ½ cup salt to 2 quarts water) for 12 hours. Drain off the brine. Cook the watermelon in fresh water until it is tender. Tie spices loosely in a bag and place with other ingredients on to boil, add drained rind, and boil rapidly until it becomes clear. Remove spice bag. Bottle while hot, and seal when cold.

SPICED RHUBARB

Two and a half pounds rhubarb, 2 lbs. sugar, ½ cup vinegar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon cloves.

Wipe rhubarb, skin and cut stalks in 1-inch pieces. Put in preserving pan, add remaining ingredients, bring to boiling point, and simmer until of consistency of marmalade.

GREEN TOMATO PICKLES

Three pounds green tomatoes, 1 lb. cucumber or marrow, 2 oz. salt, 3 chillies, ¼ pint malt vinegar, 1 dessert-spoon mustard, ½ teaspoon allspice, ½ teaspoon celery seed, 1 teaspoon turmeric, 2 cloves of garlic.

Cut up the tomatoes and cucumber into thin slices, sprinkle them with salt and stand overnight. Next day pour

off the liquid, and turn the tomatoes and the cucumber into saucepan, chop garlic and chillies finely, add to rest of ingredients and simmer until tender, about 1 hour, bottle when cold, cork and seal.

Originally published in the Australian Women’s Weekly, 04 May 1940

Note: 1 dessert spoon equals two teaspoons

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