Pickled Peaches

12 small peaches, peeled with 4 cloves per peach
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup white vinegar
3 large cinnamon sticks

(Makes 3 pints)

Cut a shallow X in the bottom of each peach with a sharp knife and blanch in batches in a large pot of boiling water for 10–15 seconds.

Transfer the peaches to a large bowl of ice water and let stand until cool enough to handle. Peel the peaches, then halve them lengthwise and pit. Toss the peaches with the sugar and chill, covered, for at least 8 hours.

In a large stockpot, mix the vinegar and cinnamon sticks, with the peaches and their accumulated juices. Bring to a boil over moderate heat.  Skim off the foam. Reduce the heat and simmer until the peaches are barely tender, 3 minutes or so.

Divide the peaches and cinnamon sticks among the prepared jars. Return the peach-cooking liquid to a boil, then pour into the jars, leaving 1/4 inch of space at the top.

Wipe off the rims of the filled jars with a damp kitchen towel, place the lids on the jars, then firmly screw on the rings. Put the sealed jars on the rack of the canner and, if necessary, add enough hot water to cover the jars by 2 inches.

Boil the jars for 20 minutes, covered, then transfer to a towel-lined surface to cool. The jars will seal as they cool.

After the jars have cooled for 12–24 hours, press the center of each lid to check that it’s concave and that a vacuum has formed and they are sealed.  Store in a cool dry place for up to 1 year.

Place any jars that haven’t sealed in the refrigerator and use them first.

Pickled Lemon Asparagus

1⁄2 pound asparagus
3⁄4 cup distilled white vinegar
3⁄4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 (3-inch) strip lemon zest
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon pickling salt

Trim the woody ends from the asparagus. Cut the asparagus into 2-inch lengths.

Combine the white vinegar, water, and sugar in a saucepan and heat to boiling, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Pack the lemon zest, garlic, coriander seeds, and salt into a hot 1-pint canning jar. Fill with the asparagus. Pour in the hot vinegar mixture, leaving 1⁄2 inch headspace. Seal.

Process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes.  Let cool undisturbed for 12 hours. Store in a cool, dry place. Do not open for 6 weeks to allow the flavors to develop.

Pickled Collard Stems

  • 1 gallon glass container with lid or smaller jars
  • Stems from 2 bunches of collards, trimmed to 1 inch shorter than glass jar
  • 1/2 onion, sliced thinly
  • 6 cloves of minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon diced jalapenos
  • 1 gallon filtered water
  • 3/4 cup pickling salt
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

Pack jar tightly with stems, onions, and spices. Bring water, salt, and vinegar to a low boil. Remove brine from heat and let cool for 15 minutes. Pour brine over veggies, making sure brine covers everything. Place a fermentation weight over the top to prevent as much contact between the air and the brine surface, or rig up something of your own that will serve the same purpose not the lid though.

Let your container sit at room temperature for 3-5 days, until your stems have the perfect saltiness, flavor, and crunchiness. When they reach that point, trade the weight for a lid and place the whole container in the fridge. Your pickled stems will last several weeks or less depending how much you enjoy them.

Green Tomato Chow Chow

  • 6 cups coarsely chopped green tomatoes, about 2 pounds

  • 2 cups chopped sweet onion
  • ½ cup diced red bell pepper
  • ⅓ cup seeded and minced red jalapeño pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons sorghum syrup
  • 3/4 teaspoon celery seeds

Working in batches, pulse tomatoes and onion in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to a 6-quart Dutch oven. Stir in peppers and salt. Cover and chill for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight.

Uncover and bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Pour through a wire-mesh strainer into a bowl, pressing with back of a spoon to release liquid. Discard liquid or save for another use.  Return solids to Dutch oven.

Add remaining ingredients; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil, stirring occasionally for a few minutes until liquid evaporates. Spoon into clean jars. Let cool slightly. Cover and chill.  Keeps in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

Quick Pickled Shrimp

1 gallon water
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup sliced onions
3 bay leaves
⅓ cup capers
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup cider vinegar
½ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

Heat the water in a large pot over high heat and bring to a hard boil. Add 2 tablespoons of the salt and stir to dissolve. Add the shrimp and boil just until they turn pink, about 30 seconds or so. Drain.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine the onions, bay leaves, capers without juice, lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, celery seeds, pepper flakes, and parsley. Transfer the shrimp to the marinade.

Cover tightly and refrigerate for 8 to 12 hours.

Pickled Refrigerator Mushrooms

3 pounds cremini, button mushrooms, or other variety
1½ cups rice wine vinegar
½ cup apple cider vinegar
1½ cups sugar
½ cup honey
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
1 tablespoon kosher salt
5 thyme sprigs
1 fresh bay leaf

Lightly rinse the mushrooms; do not soak them. Dry the mushrooms, cut into bite-sized pieces, and put in a glass container.

Combine all of the remaining ingredients in a small saucepan, stir well, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

Pour the brine over the mushrooms and cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 week before eating to allow the mushrooms to cure. The mushrooms will keep for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

Refrigerator Watermelon Rind Pickles

½ small watermelon (about 5 lb.)
3 tablespoons  salt
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup white vinegar (5% acidity)
2 star anise

Place watermelon cut side down and slice into ¾-inch slices. Trim all but ¼ inch flesh from slices. Remove outer green layer of rind using a vegetable peeler; discard. Cut rind slices crosswiseinto 1-inch lengths. Place in a large bowl.

Stir together salt and 3 cups water; pour over rind. Cover and chill 24 hours. Drain; rinse well.

Combine rind, sugar, vinegar, and ¾ cup water in a 4 quart saucepan. Bring to a boil until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Cool completely.

Place star anise in clean jars. Transfer rind to jars; cover with pickling liquid. Apply lids. Chill 24 hours before serving. Stores in refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Refrigerator Cucumber Pickles

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 2 onions sliced thin
  • Cucumbers, sliced thin

Stuff jars with cucumbers and onions. Add sugar, vinegar, salt and celery seeds together and mix. Add liquid mixture to the top. This recipe makes 3 quarts.

Store in refrigerator and they will keep for months. Do not heat liquid, just stir vinegar, sugar and salt until dissolved and pour over the cucumbers and onions.

Bread & Butter Pickles

  • 6 pounds cucumbers, unpeeled
  • 8 onions thinly sliced
  • 2 green peppers thinly sliced
  • 2 red peppers thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 quart crushed ice
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric & mustard seed
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 quart white vinegar

Slice cucumbers very thin.  Place in two gallon container with onions and peppers. Mix salt and ice.  Pack on top of vegetables. Cover with weighted lid, and allow to stand for 3 hours. Drain.  Mix remaining ingredients and pour over vegetables in a large pot.    Bring to a boil over low heat. Stop cooking immediately, do not overcook.  Ladle into hot sterilized jars and seal.