Bottling fruits and vegetables in brine or vinegar is a time-honored method in preserving them. These tart condiments add color and flavor to any meal.
Mixed Vegetable Pickle
* 4 kirby cucumbers, halved
* 1 small cauliflower, cut into florets, about 4 cups.
* 8 shallots
* 2 green peppers, seeded and cut into strips.
* 2 sweet red bell peppers, seeded and cut into strips
* 1 pound green beans, topped and tailed
* 1 bunch baby carrots, scrubbed and trimmed, or 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into strips
* 2 tablespoons salt
*6 cups white vinegar
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and halved
* 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
* 1 tablespoon each mustard seeds, peppercorns, allspice berries, and dry mustard
Place all prepared veggies in a glass bowl.
Sprinkle with the salt
Cover and leave for 24 hours
Rinse the vegetables with cold water and then drain well
Place vinegar in a non-reactive saucepan with sugar, ginger and spices
Bring to a boil
Add the vegetables and cook for 3 minutes
Lift the vegetables out with a slotted spoon and arrange them in an attractive pattern, make layers of color, for example or use the pepper slices to make vertical stripes- in warm clean, wide mouth jars.
Discard the ginger, strain the hot vinegar, and pour it over the vegetables, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Process 20 minutes in a boiling water bath.
Pickle recipes that call for plenty of vinegar can safely be processed by an easy water bath method in which the jars are boiled for the amount of time specified in the recipe. You can buy a water bath set or simply fit out a large pot- the one you cook corn or pasta in, for example- with a tight fitting lid and a rack or basket that holds the canning jars off the bottom of the pot. The pot must be deep enough that the boiling water covers the tops of the jars by at least an inch. You can buy canning jars at the grocery store or your local hardware store.Glass canning jars and their metal screw bands, which help make the seal, are reusable. However, the lid that actually seals the jar is not. Don't forget that.
Wash canning jars in hot sudsy water, rinse, and cover with boiling water until ready to fill. Prepare tops according to the manufacturer's directions. Place cool processed jars on a rack or towel with air space between the jars for 12 to 24 hours. Then press the center of each lid. If the depression holds, the seal is good and you can remove the screw band and store the jar. Otherwise refrigerate the jar and use the contents right away or reprocess the filled jar.