Author Topic: pickling zucchini  (Read 129 times)

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Offline Owly055

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pickling zucchini
« on: September 14, 2017, 11:25:24 AM »
     Zucchini tends to come in a rush....... one of the easiest things to grow.   One plant will often produce far more zucchinis than you can consume, and I planted 4 of them this year.    This time of year when you ring the doorbell, people peer through the spy hole or look at the video monitor to see if you have an arm load of zucchini..... If you do, the house mysteriously remains silent...... the TV may be blaring away, or the music playing, all the vehicles there, not even the slightest sound or sign of life except for the brief scurrying of people heading for the nearest closet to hide.    Makes you feel like a Jehova's Witness ;-)
     After straining my relationships with friends and neighbors to the limit, I decided that there had to be a way to use all these zucchinis........... and indeed there was.   I decided to pickle them, and looked up zucchini pickles on the internet........ sure enough it wasn't an original idea.    Thus far I've canned 20 jars, and they are great.  Every bit as good as "real" pickles.    I proceeded exactly as I would for ordinary pickles..... equal parts water and vinegar with some salt for the brine  (3/4 cup each & 1T pickling salt).  I packed the jars with zucchini spears, cutting away the soft core where the seeds are, and leaving the skin on.   The jars got a variety of spices.  All got fresh dill, and all got something hot.  Each got a crushed clove of garlic, and a slice of colorful red mini pepper, most got a slice or two of Jalapeno.   Some got cayenne, others got chipoltle & turmeric mix I use on lots of things, and several got a generous dollop of horseradish, making a pseudo wasabi dill.   All except the horseradish ones got a tablespoon of pickling spice.   I poured boiling liquid over each one in turn, capping each one immediately before proceeding to the next.   The first batch I hot water bath processed, the latest batch I did not.   I can't imagine them spoiling with that concentration of boiling vinegar brine.   The idea of not processing is to keep them as crisp as possible.   I've eaten 3 jars so far myself (pint), and given several away.  One jar I took to a friend's shop, and he and his hired men polished it off in minutes.  The combination of spice with the sour bite of vinegar, is irresistible.   The first try with horseradish, I didn't put enough in and it was lost in the other spices.    This time I put a heaping tablespoon in each pint jar, and nothing else but dill.........We'll see in a week or two.   
     Pickling is one of the easiest food processes, and you can pickle almost anything.   For voyaging, a chamber vacuum sealer could be used to seal the brine and veggies into a convenient package, which could then be dropped into sous vide for further processing.   The high acid content prevents spoilage, and eliminates the risk of botulism in ordinary canning.   Meat and fish of course can be pickled also using just a salt and saltpeter brine, or a vinegar and spice brine.   Fruits also can make some awesome pickles using a vinegar, sugar, and spice brine.    The net is full of recipes and ideas.  I'm NOT a recipe guy, but a recipe makes an excellent starting point.