DIYEat & Drink

DIY: Pickling Party!

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It’s time to get pickled…

Obviously, “Pickling’ is the new hot social gathering going on these days. (Which I just found out is also called “the art of preserving”…) My uber cool little sister Heather hosts these parties where her friends come over and pickle the shit out of a variety of vegetables. Throw a few cocktails into the mix, and they end up pickling some really weird stuff. Ever heard of pickled mangoes? Um…never, but I tried one and it was strangely satisfying. Little sis has gotten so good at it, she even started selling her pickled goods to the dive bar down the street to use as garnish in their Bloody Mary’s! Well…it looks like broke-ass-ness runs in the family.

Anyways, I asked her some tips for throwing a Pickling Party. Here is Heather’s advice:

1) Buy a “metric shit-ton” of veggies. Be creative, you can pickle basically anything: green beans, asparagus, beets, garlic, onions, cucumbers….and the beat goes on….

2) Use unusually large amounts of sugar, vinegar and spices to really make it taste right. Think about all your four taste buds. Either make it super spicy, sweet, sour, or salty. The result will be worth it.

3) Boil everything – including the jars to kill bacteria….212 degrees is legit.

4) Close the lid of the mason jars super tight.

5) Be patient- the finished product won’t be ready for a few weeks, maybe even months, depending on your what you are pickling.

According to my friend Jesse, ” “It’s increases my future sodium intake. I mean, in six weeks I’ll be like a salty dog.” Here are a few quick recipes that even you can pull off and look like you’ve spent forever researching this craft:

Pickled Beets with Star Anise:

a Bon Appetit inspired recipe. Photo: cooks.com

8 beets

3/4 cup red wine vinegar

3/4 cup dry red wine

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

3 whole star anise pods

Boil the beets in a big pot, so that they are covered by 2 inches of water. Make sure you leave the stems and skin on. Boil until soft, probably 1 hour. Drain, rinse, peel and trim beets. Pack into a clean, hot 1-quart jar.

Meanwhile, boil remaining ingredients in a small sauce pan. Make sure the sugar is all the way disolved. Remove from heat and let cool for 1 hour to thicken.

Take out the anise stars from the syrup – then get it boiling again. Pour the hot mess over the beets leaving 1/2 inch space on top. Shake to make sure there are no air-pockets. Seal the jar, tightly, and throw that thing into a pot of boiling water for 30 minutes. Allow at least a week before eating them – or as long as you can hold out.

Pickled Green Beans:

a cooks.com inspired recipe

okra or green beans, boiled for 10 minutes

1 Jalopeno (Jalop eno)

2 cloves of garlic

2 dill sprigs

1 quart vinegar

1 metric shitton of spices (mustard seed, chili flakes etc.)

1 quart bottled or filtered water

1/2 cup canning salt

Pack green beans into jar. For each pint jar, add 1 pod of pepper, 1 clove garlic and 1 dill sprig.

Bring vinegar to a boil and add water and salt, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Pour over beans. Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

Store for at least 2 weeks before using.

REMEMBER: Patience makes perfect pickles. If you can wait up to about six weeks, you will be really stoked on your finished product!

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Heidi Smith - The Ultimate Scavenger

Heidi Smith - The Ultimate Scavenger

Heidi works for a non-profit cultural exchange organization helping others experience life from a different perspective. She likes magnetizing the obscure and scavenging the city for fun, free things to do. She is a world traveler, a freelance writer and a spontaneous chef. She is also said to be part-mermaid.

5 Comments

  1. August 3, 2011 at 1:25 am

    Really glad I randomlyame upon your site.  Thanks a “metric shit-ton.”

  2. August 2, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    Really glad I randomlyame upon your site.  Thanks a “metric shit-ton.”

    • anne
      August 2, 2011 at 6:27 pm

      *meant randomly CAME uopn you site 🙂