Category Archives: Pickling

Some Like it Hot-Hot-Hot

Looking back, it was around 2005 when my love affair with capsaicin began.  During this time I could be found wearing mandarin collars and stunning imported silks, mainly because I was a server in one of my best friend’s family owned restaurants.  Sukhothai started it all.

Ever since, I’m always on the lookout for new ways to heat things up in the kitchen… and in the garden!  For the past 3 years I’ve grown Chinese Five Color peppers and this year will be no different.  Not only do these little babies pack a serious heat-punch, they also add a burst of vibrant color anywhere that needs a little livening up!

Chinese 5 color peppers

Last fall, I made the strategic decision to head over the river and through the woods and set up camp in my old stomping grounds… but not without first harvesting all my remaining produce still growing about the property!  With several quart boxes in tow, I was now faced with the challenge of preserving these bright beauties to be savored during the cold winter months.  In years past I’ve both frozen and dehydrated them, but never have I pickled them!

pickled peppers

Pickled Peppers

4 qts peppers – I used Chinese Five Color

4 cups distilled white vinegar

4 cups water

4 tsp pickling salt

olive oil

Wash peppers thoroughly.  Remove core, seeds, and stems of large peppers and coin; small peppers can be processed whole with stems intact.  Make 2 small slits in whole peppers.

Mix vinegar and water; heat to boiling.  Be careful to not boil your vinegar too long as it is rather volatile.  Tightly pack peppers into sterile, hot jars and pour the vinegar-water on top, leaving 3/4″ headspace.  Add 1/4″ olive oil and a pinch of salt, if desired.  Wipe rims, add two-piece adjustable lids and process in a boiling-water bath for 15 minutes.  Remove jars from canner and place on a wire rack for 12-24 hours, undisturbed, so seals may properly set.

Makes 8 pints.

Images and content copyright © 2013 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe courtesy of Putting Food By



Filed under Boiling-Water Bath Canning, Pickling, Vegan, Vegetarian

A Post For The Impatient

Twenty-one days.  That’s it my friends.  We’re talking three short weeks between germination and harvest.  And just what is this presto-pronto-producer you ask?  Why the undervalued radish of course!

When I planted my first garden in ’91 the only veggie request I had was from my father; he asked for radishes.  To this day, I remember sitting in the kitchen watching him enjoy a plate full of those crunchy, lightly salted, ruby-red radishes, that I oh-so-proudly grew.  I too share his excitement over that cruciferous vegetable: they’re delicious raw, cooked crisp-tender, fermented, and (I can now say) pickled!

Pickled Radishes

2 large bunches of radishes (I used French breakfast, but any variety will do!)

1 cup cider vinegar

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

4 tsp sea salt or any non-iodized salt such as kosher

1/2 tsp brown mustard seed

1/8 tsp whole coriander

1/4 tsp black peppercorns

3 cloves garlic – sliced

Coin radishes and place into a bowl of ice water.  Set aside.  In a large sauce pot combine water, vinegar, salt, and sugar; stir to dissolve sugar and bring mixture to a slight simmer.

Fill each sterilized pint jar with the above mentioned spices, add one clove of garlic to each jar, then add (drained) radishes; fill jars with hot brine, leaving 1/2″ headspace.  Remove air bubbles; wipe rims and add two-piece adjustable lids to fingertip-tight.  Process in a boiling-water bath for 15 minutes.  Remove jars from canner and allow to cool on a wire rack for 12-24 hours, then store for up to a year.  Yields approximately 3 pints.

This recipe also produces a delicious refrigerator pickle; however, you should wait two weeks before enjoying so the brine can properly develop!

Images and content copyright © 2009-2012 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe adapted from Canning Homemade.


Filed under Boiling-Water Bath Canning, Pickling, Vegan, Vegetarian

Patiently waiting for my food to evolve.

Lacto-fermentation is a method of food preservation where lactic acid is produced by good bacteria.  Not only will lactobacillus keep food perfectly preserved, but this process also increases the vitamin content, while promoting the growth of healthy flora in your intestines, allowing for ease in digestion.


Of all the organic acids, lactic acid is the one that best inhibits the proliferation of bacteria that cause putrefaction, but it does not bring about in the body the over-acidifying action of certain other acids….While other products of the fermentation process, like alcohol and acetic acid, must be decomposed and eliminated, lactic acid can in large part be used by the body…. Organic acids present in fermented milk and vegetable products play an important role in the health of old people as they aid a digestive system
that is growing more and more feeble…. After two or three days of lacto-fermentation, vegetables begin to soften and certain substances
in them begin to decompose. If the vegetables contain nitrates—often the case after a summer with little sun—they are broken down….If all goes well,
the lactic-acid producing bacteria take over and the process of acidification begins. New substances are formed, notably…choline and, above all, lactic
acid. This acidification ensures the conservation of the vegetables…but the fermentation of the aromas doesn’t come about until a later stage, during storage. Lacto-fermentation is not only a means of conserving
foods but also a procedure for ennobling them, as proved by their taste and aroma.— Annelies Schoneck, Des Crudités Toute L’Année

Several well-known lacto-fermented foods include sauerkraut, kimchi, and pickles.  Canned pickles, however, are not the result of lacto-fermentation since the bacteria is killed during water-bath processing.  Also, the brine resulting from lacto-fermentation will become cloudy, canned pickles maintain a clear brine (unless you have added spices that muddy up the brine).

The following recipe is by far my absolute FAVORITE pickle.  Ever.  Last year’s batch lasted through February; so not long enough!  This year I plan on making several gallons in hopes of stretching out their tasty consumption well into next Spring!

Cajun Pickles – adapted from the Pickle People

8 cups cold water
1/2 cup pickling salt
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
2 teaspoons pickling spice
1 1/2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning (I have my own *special* blend)
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons dried Italian herb seasoning
3/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
8 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
50 finger-sized pickling cucumbers (about 4 pounds) or 17 medium cucumbers, disked (I make both) **see bottom for note**
6 cherry peppers, thinly sliced (don’t seed)
6 jalapeno peppers, thinly sliced (don’t seed)
1/2 large onion, thinly sliced

Combine water, salt, vinegar, and seasonings; stir until salt is dissolved.  Pack cucumbers, cherry peppers, jalapenos, garlic, and onion into a gallon  jar.  You can also use 4 quart jars,  just divide peppers, onion and garlic evenly among them.  Ladle in spiced brine, covering vegetables.  Place lid(s) on jar(s) and let pickles ferment at cool room temperature for 3 days.  Refrigerate another 5 days; for those who want it and want it now, the pickles are ready to eat.  I always allow mine ferment for at least 1-2 months, so the brine can really develop.

The batch pictured above was made using whole cucumbers and my Chinese 5 color peppers.  This is my first year growing that variety of hot pepper, so I am very anxious to taste them!

**When using whole cucumbers, trim the blossom end by 1/16″, since the blossom may contain an enzyme that encourages excessive softening.


Filed under Pickling, Vegan, Vegetarian

Pickled Garlic Scapes

In case you haven’t noticed I’ve been on a garlic scape binge for the past week or so.  I’ve been searching the interwebs high and low, hunting and gathering all recipes featuring their use.  In addition to adding scapes to sautéed veggie medleys I’ve made bean dip, salted herbs, pesto, and now I’ve pickled them!

Dilly Scapesadapted from Ball’s Blue Book of Canning Dilly Bean recipe

6-7 bunches of garlic scapes cut into 4 1/2″ segments (the flower pods and curly sections were reserved for freezing and sauteing)

1/4 cup pickling salt

2-1/2 cups white vinegar

2-1/2 cups water

1 tsp cayenne pepper, divided

6 cloves of garlic, sliced in half and divided (obviously not necessary since scapes are garlic, but I like to snack on pickled garlic too!)

4 tsp dill seed, divided

2 tsp whole peppercorns, divided

Combine salt, vinegar and water in a large pot and bring to a boil.  In hot sterilized pint jars add 3 slices of garlic, 1/2 tsp peppercorns, 1 tsp dill seed and 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper to each jar; pack garlic scapes into jars lengthwise.  Ladle hot liquid over scapes, leaving 1/4” headspace.  Remove air bubbles and adjust two-piece caps to finger-tip tight.  Process pints 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner.  Yields 4 pints.

The brine will take several weeks to develop so I won’t open a jar till mid July, which at that time my beans should be about ready.  If I like the recipe I will use it for dilly beans as well!


Filed under Boiling-Water Bath Canning, Pickling, Vegetarian

Pickled Green Tomatoes

Last Friday it was forecasted that we were to receive our first hard frost of the season. With the exception of my cool weather crops (like peas, bok choy, beets, radishes, all my brassicas and mesclun who love the cold) most of my plants can’t take frost or a severe dip in temperature. In a panicked state I hurried about my garden picking green tomatoes like a squirrel collecting nuts. I ended up with well over 25 lbs of unripe tomatoes. Turns out we did not get an actual killing frost until this morning, but it was a necessary harvest that was going to take place eventually.

I really love fried green tomatoes, however, I don’t see myself perpetually consuming them over the next two weeks. So my preservation quest began. I found quite a few recipes that peaked my interest, one of which was to pickle them, which I did.

Pickled Green Tomatoes

4 c water
4 cups white vinegar
4 Tbsp Pickling Salt
4 pounds green tomatoes, sliced into wedges
dill seed
bay leaves

Combine vinegar, salt and water to make a brine and bring it to a boil. In each hot jar add 2 bay leaves, 2 tsp dill seed, 1/2 tsp peppercorns and a clove of garlic, sliced. Add tomatoes and fill jar with hot brine. I did both pints and quarts. For the quart I upped the spice measurements a bit. Process in a BWB for 10 minutes.

As with anything pickled the longer the brine has to develop the stronger and better the flavor becomes. I’ll be sure to crack one of these open in a few weeks and let you know how they turned out!

**UPDATE** Mid January I cracked open a jar of this lovely green beauties, needless to say I ate almost the entire jar standing in the kitchen! They are awesome and I can’t wait to make more later this year!!


Filed under Boiling-Water Bath Canning, Pickling, Vegan, Vegetarian

What the Dilly-yo??

Pickles that is.  I planted 14 cucumber plants this year and not by choice mind you!  Don’t get me wrong, I love fresh cucumber, basil, and tomato salads during those dog days of summer… but 14 cucumber plants are a bit much!  I, however, was forced to plant them.  If I did not give in to their demands, I would not be able to see my niece!  Look at that face, how could I say no???

I made these dill pickles last year for my brother for his birthday; I had no idea how great of a success they would be!  I was literally cornered and aggressivly begged to make them again this year.  So, I’ve happily obliged.

Danielle’s Refrigerator Dill Pickles – makes 1 gallon

1/4 cup dill seed

1/4 cup whole peppercorns

6-12 cloves of garlic, depending on personal taste

LOTS of cumbers

6 cups water

3 cups white vinegar

1/2 cup pickling salt

Wash cucumbers and soak 12-24 hours in cold water.  I use the crisping drawer in my fridge to hold them all!

Drain cukes; combine water, vinegar, and salt.  Bring to a boil.  Place dill, garlic, and peppercorns in your jar and add cucumbers.

Fill with hot vinegar mixture and refrigerate for a week.  The longer you let them sit the better they get!!!


Filed under Pickling, Vegan, Vegetarian