Top 7 Tips for Pickling!
It is that time of the year when one feels the urge to dig out those glass jars and cans, clean them up and fill them with some mouthwatering pickles! Yes Pickling season is back! Pickling Vegetables and fruits always reminds me of sweet childhood times when I would stand by mom while she pickled and thus preserved a variety of items without even peeping into a recipe! Luckily, she shared with me a few of her tips for pickling. Here are the top 7 tips on pickling that I keep in mind whenever I set about to pickle!
PICKLING TIP 1
Always, always follow the pickle recipes to the last word! Adjusting or modifying the quantities can actually lead to spoilage and an environment that is conducive for bacterial growth.
PICKLING TIP 2
Clean your tools and utensils with hot water and soap and then rinse properly. Dry it well before using. Do not allow them to be moist.
PICKLING TIP 3
Make sure that you pickle fresh produce that is not tarnished or rotting. If you are not going to pickle the produce immediately try to keep it fresh by refrigerating it. Cut them evenly so that the will process uniformly and pack better. If you are pickling cucumber, remove the blossoms an stems. The blossoms have enzymes that can make the cucumber soggy. You wouldn’t want a cucumber pickle without its yummy crispiness!!
PICKLING TIP 4
When the pickle recipe asks you to add salt, never go for table salt. Table salt contains iodine and anti-caking agents. The former will darken the vegetables while the latter causes cloudiness in the brine. So go for pickling salt.
PICKLING TIP 5
When it comes to other ingredients used in pickling follow these instructions. Use commercial vinegar for best results. Ensure that the water you are using is soft water. Use fresh spices and not the ones that have been in your pantry for months. Avoid powdered spices as they can darken the liquid.
PICKLING TIP 6
When canning your pickle make sure that you don’t use copper, iron, zinc, or brass containers. This will react with the pickle liquid. Make sure that the jars are jam packed as most pickled produce has the tendency to reduce over time. Ensure that the Jar rims are clean and dry so that they can be sealed properly. Don’t screw the ring too tightly. Label your jar and keep it aside in a cool, dry place.
PICKLING TIP 7
Let the pickles ripen over a period of one week and don’t disturb it till then unless the pickle recipes demands of you to give it a shake once in a while. Its best let alone!