Christmas Pickles…Ho Ho Ho!

jar chutney christmas
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It’s that time of the year when we think we have a while to go before the Big Day…Christmas..and then we realize the weeks have just flown by and we haven’t done nowhere near everything we should have done ….Some things take a while to ferment and be at their best like pickled onions others like the cucumber pickles you can do at the last minute.
I will start with the ones which need time to mature or which you can keep…
Pickled Onions.
Pickled Onions (4)
2 lb of pickling onions or shallots peeled.
1 1/2 pints pickling vinegar..I use white vinegar or a mix of apple cider and white vinegar.
2 tbsp Pickling spices or your mix…again I mix black, white peppercorns, coriander seeds.
Let’s Cook!
2 days before pickling the onions mix 2pts water with 4 oz salt pour over onions, cover and keep in cool place. I keep in the fridge due to the heat here.
Then drain onions and pat dry.
Pack into sterilized jars layering pickling spices as you go then pour over vinegar making sure you cover the cucumber completely.Pickled cucumber
 
I have two different types of pickled cucumbers both nice but I slightly prefer the yellow ones…
I used 4 cucumbers ( they are short) ones here not like the ones we used to get when in the UK although I have discovered Japanese cucumbers and they are nice, crispy and very similar to the cucumber I know and love.
The cucumbers here are much smaller with larger seeds in the center and not quite as crispy and flavorsome. In fact, I think I prefer them pickled.
Lets Pickle!
I peeled and sliced( quite thickly) 4 cucumbers.
1 large Onion peeled and sliced.
3 cups of vinegar.
1/4- 1/2 cup of sugar or sweetener of your choice. I only used a 1/4 cup of sugar and some salt to season as required.
1 cup of water.
Whisk vinegar, sugar and water together in a jug. Put alternative slices of cucumber and onion in pre-sterilised jars, then pour the vinegar mix over the cucumber and onion making sure to cover completely.
Screw the lid down tightly and refrigerate they will be ready to eat in 2 days in fact if you leave these too long they get too vinegary. They are really a quick pickle recipe.
Pickled cucumbers. Recipe 2.
in jars..pickled
3 medium cucumbers
1 large Onion thinly sliced.
85g sea salt flakes (essential- table salt will render your efforts inedible)
500ml cider vinegar
250g granulated sugar
1 tsp Coriander seeds
2 tsp yellow mustard seed
1 tsp peppercorn
1 tsp ground turmeric
small bunch dill
Wash the cucumbers, split along their length and scoop out the seeds. Cut each half into finger-length chunks, then cut into 5mm strips. Mix with the onion and salt in a large bowl, cover and leave to soak overnight.
Next day, drain the juices, rinse the vegetables in cold water and drain well. Put the vinegar, sugar, and spices into a very large saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer for 5 mins to let the flavors infuse.
Add the vegetables and bring the pan to a rolling boil over a high heat, stirring now and again. Boil for 1 min, then remove the pan from the heat. Tear in the dill, then pack into sterilized jars making sure that no air bubbles are trapped. Store in a cool, dark place until ready to use.
 
I also had a lovely message today from a lady who had made the recipe and said they were lovely and it was a great recipe and to keep writing …How lovely was that?  It really made my day…
Pickled Garlic:
Pickled Garlic
 
8-10 garlic bulbs
500 mls white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
90 gm sugar
1 tsp salt…I always use salt mined here locally or Himalayan salt.
1 tsp per jar of either mustard seed or fennel seeds (optional)
2 x 250-300 ml jars with good lids
Separate the bulbs of garlic into cloves and peel.
In a saucepan bring the vinegar, salt and sugar to the boil, stirring occasionally to make sure the salt and sugar are dissolved. Add the garlic cloves to the pickling liquid. Bring it back to the boil and simmer for five minutes.
Transfer the garlic cloves to sterilized jars. Add the mustard or fennel seeds if using. We actually couldn’t decide Fennel or mustard seeds so I normally do some of both they are equal in taste to us. Carefully fill the jars with the hot pickling liquid. Seal.
The garlic will be ready to use in about a week but improves over time.
Pickled jalapenos:
Pickled Jalapenos
This recipe was given to me by a Texan friend and it has carrots in the Jalapenos something I hadn’t thought of. His mum’s recipe and they are the best ones. The carrots taste lovely pickled with the jalapenos. It is our go-to recipe and I make them all the time …The current batch has some blow your head of Jalapenos isn’t it funny how they vary in heat just like chilies. But pickled they are oh so scrumptious.
A few jars of these have just been taken over to the UK for my son as he wanted to try them…I now know they have arrived intact and duly eaten and enjoyed!.
Ingredients:
10 large Jalapenos sliced into rings.
1/2 to 1 carrot sliced into rings.
3/4 cup of water.
3/4 cup of distilled white vinegar.
3 tbsp white sugar.
1 tbsp salt.
1 clove garlic crushed.
1/2 tsp oregano.
Let’s Cook!
Combine water, vinegar, sugar, salt, garlic and oregano in a saucepan over a high heat.Bring to the boil.
Add carrots bring back to boil and lower heat slightly, cook for 5 minutes.Stir in Jalapenos and remove the pan from heat. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
Pack carrots and Jalapenos in sterilized jars using tongs. Cover with vinegar mix or put in a sterilized storage container and keep in the refrigerator.
These are ready to eat within about a week so can be made just before Christmas if you run out of time or they were eaten but they also will keep so they can be made now and will be very nice with your Christmas cold cuts.
I do hope you enjoyed this pickle of a post…it reminds me of the song of Peter Piper who picked a peck of pickled peppers..try saying that quickly…lol
Also when I was a little girl…I am not telling how many years ago…My nan used to give me the liquid from the greens when she cooked them…although I will say they massacred them then..no lightly steamed veg then it was cooked for at least an hour and she added vinegar to the green juice…It was such a treat though I loved it!
Can anyone else remember that?
Next, I have cabbage pickled the Thai way…
 
Thai Pickled Cabbage ( Pak Dong)
1 white cabbage. cut or torn into pieces.
8 large spring onions chopped
Coarse Salt.
Method:
Pickled cabbage is very easy to do and there are many variations I have seen it with fresh chilies. It can also be made with Chinese cabbage or Pak Choy…Our preference is just plain old white cabbage and spring onions it is quick, easy and very moreish it can be eaten on its own, stirred into soup or with a curry as an accompaniment. It doesn’t last long here at all as our little granddaughter loves it and just eats it on its own.
Let’s Cook !
Layer Cabbage, Onions and salt in the dish add a little water. Mix it all together with your hands.
We then leave the dish covered on kitchen top or in the sun for 1 day.
Then drain and lightly rinse and add more salt if required. Cover and leave for 2/3 days or until it reaches your ideal taste. With pickled cabbage, it is purely down to personal taste some like it saltier than others. Just play with it and you will soon discover your ideal version.
Then refrigerate and enjoy!
Chilli and Tomato Chutney.
tomato-chutney
This is a  lovely vibrant chilli and tomato this chutney does get hotter the longer you keep it if it lasts that long..but is lovely with cold meats, cheese, hot sausages, Pork Pies or just use as a glaze over your meat when you are cooking it or your prawns…it is lovely on your BBQ prawns.
Let’s Cook!
500gm of mixed tomatoes..some can be green.
4 large red chilies..deseed if you don’t want your chutney too hot or maybe just reduce the chilies.
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced.
An inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
300gm of sugar golden or brown.
100ml red wine vinegar or balsamic.
2 tbsp of fish sauce.
Skin the tomatoes by putting in hot water. Then add to the food processor with the chili and ginger.
Blitz…I love that word…
Then put in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the sugar, Fish sauce, and vinegar and bring it to the boil slowly so as not to burn the mixture, keep stirring and then lower heat and let it simmer for 25-35 minutes or until the mixture has gone slightly darker and sticky.
Pour into warm sterilized jars with secure lids.
I turn my jars upside down to get rid of any airlocks until cooled.
This will get hotter the longer it is kept although it doesn’t last that long in this house and by the time my friends have begged a jar from me…They normally return the empty jars hoping I will give them a full one in return…lol
Enjoy!
Images:
All images are mine and from my own photo collection.
So enjoy those pickles..always in moderation of course as vinegar is a fermented food, so if you suffer from gout be careful as too much will aggravate your condition otherwise the vinegar in pickle juice is actually good for the digestive system. “It encourages the growth and healthy balance of good bacteria and flora in your gut”
You didn’t think you were going to get away without a little bit of a Healthy Eating Talk, did you?
Thank you to Esme for letting me guest post on her lovely blog. Please come and join us and share your recipes we would love to see what you feed your family on…I love new recipes from around the world.
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