This summer I wanted to grow something different. I have tried tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, kale, beans, bok choy, pumpkin and watermelon. I decided I wanted to try carrots. I knew the soil in my garden wasn’t the best but I still wanted to try. When you are growing carrots you need to have very loose rock free soil. The harder your soil it, and the rockier it is the weirder your carrots will grow. They tend to grow around the rocks instead of pushing right through them. I ended up with some wacky carrots some even looked like mandrakes! No matter how they looked they were still very tasty.
Now if you have ever grown your own vegetables you will know that if you don’t stagger your plantings, you will end up with too much to eat. Some options are freezing them for later, canning them, dehydrating them or pickling them. The mandrakes from my garden were perfect for pickling. They ended up looking like specimens in jars.
Measure out your pickling liquid. Pickling liquid is mixture of white vinegar, water, salt and spices. You can play around with the amount of spices to suit your taste buds. You can also play around with the ratio of vinegar and water. The more vinegar you add, the more sour it will be.
Wash jars in warm soapy water. Sterilized the jars by boiling them for 10 minute. Leave the jars in the hot water until needed.
Pack the jars with your choice of vegetables. We used carrots and cauliflower. Pack them firmly.
Pour the boiling liquid into the jars leaving about 1/2 inch air space on the top. Place lids back on the jars, screw the lids firmly but stop when you feel resistance. Place jars back into boiling water.
Boil for another 10 minutes. After the processing cool the jars on the counter. Enjoy these tasty treats with salad or eat them for a snack.
Recipe adapted from Joy of Cooking, “Pickled Dill Beans”
- 3-6 sprigs of fresh dill
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon pickling salt
- pickling spices
- 1 teaspoon of chili flakes
Combine garlic, vinegar, water, salt, pickling spices, and chili flakes together. Boil liquid. Pack sterilized jars with carrots, dill and garlic. Pour the heated liquid into the jar leaving 1/2 inch space. Place the lids back on the jar and tighten until you feel resistance. Boil in water for about 10 minutes. Remove from the water and cool overnight.
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