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In a pickle: An easy way to preserve a garden’s bounty

Preserving » Experts suggest going beyond cucumbers to pickle all sorts of garden produce.



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2 cups sugar

2 tablespoons mustard seed

At a glance

Tips for perfect pickling

Here are a few things to consider when pickling:

Produce » The difference between good pickled vegetables and great ones is the freshness of the ingredients. Ideally, you should pickle as soon as you harvest.

Salt » Regular table salt, which contains additives, may darken pickles or cause the brine to become cloudy. Most recipes call for pickling (or canning) salt because it contains no additives. Fine sea salt is a good additive-free substitute. Kosher salt can be used, but it’s tricky because of volume differences. Usually 1 teaspoon table salt is equal to 1 1/8 to 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt.

Vinegar » It’s best to use commercial vinegars when pickling. Distilled, cider, malt and wine vinegars with at least 5 percent acidity can all be used successfully. Rice vinegar usually has a lower acidity level, about 4.3 percent, and isn’t considered safe for canning.

Start small » Making pickles one jar at a time is easier and less intimidating than large batches. It also means vegetables are preserved at their peak and not stored in the refrigerator until you have enough for a big batch. One-jar batches also are recommended when trying a new recipe. Then you’ll know if you like the product before making a large time/vegetable investment.

Be clean » Before filling, wash jars, lids and bands in soapy water and then sterilize with boiling water.

Follow the recipe » Don’t make substitutions or alter the proportions of ingredients, as it can change the acid level and make the food unsafe. Same goes for processing times. Food must reach a certain temperature to kill bacteria and other organisms and failing to process long enough can result in contamination.

Altitude adjustment » Most canning recipes are tested at or below 1,000 feet above sea level. Because water boils at a lower temperature at higher altitudes — which is most of Utah — cooks will need to increase processing times to ensure that food is safe. Here’s a guide.

Altitude in feet » Increase processing time*

1,001 to 3,000 » 5 minutes

3,001 to 6,000 » 10 minutes

6,001 to 8,000 » 15 minutes

8,001 to 10,000 » 20 minutes

*Processing time doesn’t start until the filled bottles are submerged and the water is brought back to a rolling boil.

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1 teaspoon celery seed

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

2 cups water

2 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar

Thoroughly wash and scald 6 (1-pint) jars. Keep hot until needed. Prepare lids according to manufacturer directions.

In a large kettle, boil ears of corn for five minutes. Drop into ice water and cool 5 minutes. Carefully cut kernels from cob, but don’t scrape cobs. Measure 10 cups corn.

In a large kettle, combine corn with remaining ingredients. Boil gently, uncovered, 15 minutes. Remove from heat and ladle into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Run a knife between the corn and the side of the jar to remove any air bubbles. Wipe the rim of the jar with a clean, damp cloth to remove any food particles. Cover jars with the lids and secure with metal screw band. Process 15 minutes* in a boiling water bath (*or more depending on altitude).


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Servings » Makes 5 to 6 (1-pint) jars

Source: America’s Best State Fair Recipes, by Catherine Hanley

Orange pickled beets

1/4 cup distilled white vinegar

1/4 cup water

1 teaspoon pickling or fine sea salt

1 teaspoon sugar

Zest from 1/2 of an orange, cut into thin strips

2 allspice berries

2 cups cubed cooked beets*

Combine white vinegar, water, salt and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar.

Pack the orange zest and allspice into a clean hot one-pint canning jar, followed by the beets. Pour in the hot vinegar mixture, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Run a knife between the beets and the side of the jar to remove any air bubbles. Wipe the rim of the jar with a clean, damp cloth to remove any food particles. Cover jars with the lids and secure with metal screw band. Process in a boiling-water bath for 30 minutes (*or more depending on altitude). Remove from hot water and allow jars to cool undisturbed for 12 hours. Store in a cool, dry place. Don’t open for at least six weeks to allow flavors to develop.

Recipe can be doubled, tripled, quadrupled depending on how many jars you want to make.

*4 to 5 medium-sized beets make a pound; and each pound will yield 2 to 3 cups of cubed beets.

Serving » 1 pint jar

Source: The Pickled Pantry: From Apples to Zucchini, 150 recipes for pickles, relishes, chutneys and more, by Andrea Chesman

Can-do attitude

Wasatch Community Gardens is offering a series of classes and events on canning and preserving. To register visit www.wasatchgardens.org/workshops.

Shop and can » This two-part class starts with a shopping trip to the Farmers Market and then, a few days later, putting up all the produce.

When » Saturday, July 28 10 a.m. to noon; Monday, July 30, 5 to 8 p.m.

Where » Saturday at the Downtown Farmers Market at Pioneer Park, 340 W. 300 South; and Monday at Squatters Pub Brewery, 147 W. 300 South, Salt Lake City.

Cost » $25

Canning fair » Professional picklers, canners and fermentation artisans will demonstrate key techniques and offer samples.

When » Saturday, Aug. 18, 3-6 p.m.

Where » Utah State Fairpark, 1037 W. North Temple, Salt Lake City

Cost » $10.

Tree fruits » Preserve peaches and other seasonal fruits so they retain color, texture and nutrients.

When » Tuesday, Aug. 21, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Where » Harmons City Creek location, 135 E. 100 South, Salt Lake City

Cost » $25

Tomatoes » Preserve tomatoes whole, crushed or in a sauce.

When » Tuesday, Sept. 4, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Where » Harmons City Creek location, 135 E. 100 South, Salt Lake City

Cost » $25

Quick jam » Shop for fruit and then get a hands-on lesson for making quick jam.

When » Tuesday, Sept. 18, 4:30-8:30 p.m.

Where » Pioneer Park, 350 W. 400 South; and Harmons City Creek, 135 E. 100 South, Salt Lake City.

Cost » $25

Pressure canning » Preserve meats, broths, soups, beans and more using a pressure canner.

When » Tuesday, Oct. 2l, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Where » Harmons City Creek location, 135 E. 100 South, Salt Lake City

Cost » $25

Harvest holidays » Make relishes, pie fillings and other winter favorites for holiday gift-giving.

When » Tuesday, Oct. 16, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Where » Harmons City Creek location, 135 E. 100 South, Salt Lake City

Cost » $25

Best of the Last » Capture the last of the season by making salsas, sauces and more.

When » Tuesday, Oct. 30, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Where » Harmons City Creek location, 135 E. 100 South, Salt Lake City

Cost » $25



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