This recipe is adapted from the recipe found on Food.com. If you want to make a single jar batch this recipe is a winner. I made these pickles in bulk using the same proportions of ingredients as in the recipe above.
I try to support local businesses as much as possible. Usually I get my fruit and veg from an independent green grocer instead of from a supermarket. As a result I can usually negotiate bulk veg for pickles at a discounted rate. I bought a full crate of bell pepper for R120 and got 10 x 750ml jars of pickles out of this batch.
Because I didn’t use a fixed weight of peppers (you won’t know how much you have until the peppers have been cut up and added to the jars) I made a couple batches of pickling liquid with the same ratio of ingredients as I went. There was about a cup of pickling liquid left at the end which I added to a sterile jar with some spices and will use it as a base for salad dressings in the future.
Sweet and sour pickled peppers
Bell peppers sliced into strips (it looks better if you use a mix of red, green, yellow and orange)
Onion (about half the volume of the peppers)
Ratio of pickling liquid per 750ml jar
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
3/4 cup distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 bay leaves
6 – 8 peppercorns
1/4 tsp mixed black and yellow mustard seed
1/2 clove thinly sliced garlic
1/4 tsp celery seeds
Sterilise canning jars
Slice peppers and onions into strips
Add the spices as above to EACH jar
Alternate layers of peppers and onion to the jars, my family prefer more onion in the jars as they take on the flavour of the peppers while maintaining a delicious crunch
Pack the jars quite tightly as the pickles will float as they soften leaving quite a bit of space in the jar
If you’re making multiple batches of pickled peppers, make triple or quadruple batches of the pickling liquid at a go
Mix all the pickling liquid ingredients in a non-reactive pot and bring to the boil
Ladle the boiling liquid into the jars to cover the peppers completely
I tend to fill my jars to the brim to avoid air in the jars and thus let the pickles last a bit longer
Let the pickles sit for at least a week
Once you open the jar and have scooped out the first serving of peppers, top up with a layer of olive oil and store in the fridge
Eat within a month
This is an adaption of the recipe from Simply Recipes
4 punnets (about 1,5kg) of gherkins (pickling cucumbers)
2 white or yellow onions, thinly sliced
2 heaped tsp himalayan rock salt (can use Kosher salt as a substitute, regular table salt has additives in it that will turn the pickles dark and muddy the color of the pickle juice)
1 1/4 cup white grape vinegar
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 Tbsp mustard seeds
1 inch cinnamon stick
6 allspice berries plus a pinch of ground allspice
6 whole cloves plus a pinch of ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Sterilise your pickling jars
Clean the cucumbers well and slice into wafer thin slices with a mandolin
Finely slice the onion with a mandolin
Mix the onions and cucumbers together until they are evenly distributed. I didn’t sweat my cucumbers with salt and ice as they were sweet and didn’t have the slightest bit of bitterness to them. If you’re using heirloom cucumbers they can tend to be a bit bitter, in which case follow the instructions on the Simply Recipes page to remove some of the bitter liquid from the pickles before continuing, and leave the salt out of the pickling liquid.
Mix the vinegar, sugar and spices in a non reactive pot and bring to the boil
Scoop out a half ladle of the pickling liquid into your canning jars making sure to distribute the whole spices evenly between the jars
Fill the jars with cucumbers and onion
Fill the jars to the brim with the boiling pickling liquid, and seal immediately.
They will be ready to eat withing 48 hrs, but give 2 weeks for the flavours to properly develop
Once opened store in the fridge and eat within a month
This recipe made 8 x 375ml jars.
My family have already put in their orders and will be getting pickles in their Christmas gifts.
Bread and Butter pickles
So I dropped the ball with #projectpoetry. Why? Well I think the combination of a very stressful month, too many things to do, and an ongoing struggle with depression worked together and force me to shut down non-essential services. You know Eskom has been load shedding, the Post Office is on strike and I was out of action for a bit too. It happens. What I’ve learnt about myself over the last year is that when I get to this point a little time out is the only thing that helps me from slipping into a more permanent version of the doldrums that I’ve been in. My mental health is a precarious balancing act and sometimes I get the balance wrong. So after a week and a bit of serious self care, I’m back and feeling pretty good. Yay!
What does self care entail for me?
Getting 8-9 hours of sleep a night
Spending much less time being social
Spending less time on social media or in any other emotionally charged environment
Doing low energy expending, nurturing activities like making pickles. (Yes pickle making is self care, I can do something that has a tangible result, is mildly creative, it an act of love and service for my family and doesn’t require too much effort beyond the repetitive chopping of veggies.)
I may just coin my own term for self care: conserve and preserve.
So I’m back, and coming up will be the recipes for sweet and sour pickled peppers, and bread and butter pickles. Also something to look out for, a review on the single most mindblowingly excellent queer poetry anthology I have ever read… #PoemsForTheQueerRevolution.