Preserving Summer - in jars and bags
6am - Just rolled out of bed, before coffee
What to do with 15 heads of chemical-free, locally grown cauliflower. That's the question early this Saturday morning. I did some poking around my various cookbooks: The Ball Blue Book of Preserving, Freezing & Canning Cookbook by Farm Journal (1963 edition), Pennsylvania Dutch Cookbook 1936 edition), Centre County Amish Cooking, and finally, I went back to my favorite canning/preserving produce book of all time... Say it with me now: The Practical Produce Cookbook.
Coffee & Telephone, canning companions, not shown
I decided to split my bounty up into two batches - one to blanch and freeze, and another to can in a sweet pickle recipe. To my pickles, I added a large zucchini I had hanging around, and some organic carrots that I wanted to use up.
Ready for a super easy recipe? You don't need anything fancy for this. Just some jars and lids. You may bathe the jars in your stock pot if you'd like.
Sweet Pickled Cauliflower
3 quart cauliflower florets (1-2 inch pieces)
1 quart white vinegar
2 cups sugar
2 cups thinly sliced onions
1 cup diced sweet red peppers (or green zucchini)
2 Tbsp mustard seed
1 Tbsp celery seed
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp hot pepper flakes (optional)
Wash cauliflower florets and boil in salt water (4 tsp canning salt per gallon of water) for 3 minutes. Drain and pack into hot pint jars. Distribute onion and diced pepper among jars.
Combine vinegar, sugar, onion, pepper and spices in large saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer 5 minutes.
Fill jars with pickling solution, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Wipe rim of jars, place lids, then screw on bands. Finger tighten. (Easy now, don't use all your muscles here! RPE) Process 10 minutes in boiling water bath. Yield approx. 5- 6 pints.
Courtesy The Practical Produce Cookbook, ISBN 0-9718456-0-3
There's more going on here, I have two loads of laundry to hang and another two bushels of celery to process. I'd better get to it. Enjoy your Saturday!