99% Food, 1% Skin

First Ever Pickling Experience

Fun day of pickling with DH!

It was our virgin pickling effort, so just a little hap hazard.

We knew there was a decent amount of raw material to handle for first-timer, but time was an essence.

With our home farm closure, we harvested a large amount of green tomatoes.

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What we also learnt was that, as much as green tomatoes were unripe, they did not keep for long.

Pickling quickly was our solution as we started throwing away rotten green tomatoes.

At the end, we had 4 lbs of green cherry tomatoes plus about 5 of our gigantic cucumbers to pickle.

Internet was my friend in this process, and we were grateful that pickling required so little and non-specialized equipment.

Started off with a mad-dash to the shop to buy canning jars.

We pulled out our biggest soup pot and sterilization for the jars and lids followed.

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After ploughing through internet to look for the ultimate recipes, I had picked 4 different brines for the green tomatoes.

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Decided that we were going to cut the big cherry tomatoes in half, and keep the tiny ones as whole.

Spice jars and bags spread out on the kitchen counter, and the smell of vinegary brine was enough to simulate appetite.

As for cucumbers, we did 2 brines: the bread and butter and a quick pickle brine.

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The quick pickle brine was meant for immediate consumption, but we pickled a few jars to see how they would taste after a long duration storage.

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The most time-consuming part of course was the cutting and slicing.

I had long considered getting a mandoline slicer but kept thinking to myself that I would not use it often — and did I regret that when we pickled!

After filling all the jars up, it was time to return all the jars for a last retort.

We ended up with about 2-dozen jars of pickled products, and had since opened 2 green tomatoes pickles and we really liked them.

Fantastically sour, they paired well with my open face salmon salad sandwich, and likely even better with cured meats.

There was definitely room for tweaking with the brining recipes: I would like to sweeten the green tomato brine, and perhaps increase the amount of spices in general.

I can foresee that we will be pickling again next year!

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