Pickled Vegetables

While I’m dealing with unwell relatives, let’s do another cooking post from my old cooking blog. This one is from July 31, 2010:

I’m not a big pickle eater. Loved them when I was a kid – the big, sour dills, and even then I preferred the crunchy kind.

But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve found the taste too tart, and mostly I’ve avoided them. I’ve considered making them myself, and I did pickle some beets last year. I also made some marinated vegetables for a buffet – spicy ones to go with Mexican food.

Then, last week, I had someone’s homemade pickles, both sweet and sour. 

Oh, boy. What I’ve been missing. Like anything else, Industrial Food has ruined our pickles for us. The homemade variety are outstanding.

But I didn’t run out and buy a bunch of pickling cucumbers. No, if I can pickle cucumbers, I can pickle anything. And I’ve got vegetables to use up!

It bears saying that pickled foods are good for you. Pickles used to be served at the beginning of every dinner, as a way to prepare the digestive system for a meal. The bacteria in the vinegar are the kind that do good things for us.

And it’s ridiculously easy to make.  Follow along.

Step 1: Cut up your vegetables. I used carrots, Armenian cucumbers (didn’t have the pickling kind), red and yellow onions, and garlic. They’re all tossed together in a big bowl.

Step 2: Stuff the veggies into jars. Really cram them in there. You’ll still have lots of unused space.

Step 3: Here’s the rest of the ingredients. Simple, right? This is a Cooking Light recipe for pickling zucchini, but I figured it would be good for anything. It’s a not-too-sweet and spicy brine. I love the taste.

I’m afraid I can’t find the recipe online, but it was in the August issue for this year. For 4 cups of vegetables, boil 1 cup of vinegar, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tsp. mustard seeds, 3/4 tsp red pepper flakes, and 3/4 tsp salt. Just bring it to a boil, then pour it into the jars. I had to quadruple the recipe for what I had.

The result: gorgeous, delicious, crunchy vegetables!

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