This post was written in mid-September and somehow I never got around to posting it. It’s a little dated in terms of the storm, but it also seems timely for end-of-season veggie stragglers, so I am posting it now.
I have written before about the woefully inadequate tomato trellis I constructed. It seems my trellising/staking shortcomings extend to my pepper plants as well, because the faint echo of hurricane Ike that swept over my garden scattered Purple Beauty, Chardonnay, and poblano peppers about like balloons at a political convention. The only sensible recourse is mixed pickles. The good thing about mixed pickles is that they can round up stray okra pods and pole beans (RIP) as well.
Here we go:
Sweet Mixed Pickles
from Summer in a Jar: Making Pickles, Jams and More
1 quart mixed vegetables (beans, carrots, cauliflower, peppers, onions are recommended)
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1/4 tsp. turmeric
1/4 tsp. mace
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
1/2 tsp. pickling salt
1 T. cornstarch
1/4 cup water
Prepare the vegetables. Beans should be trimmed and sliced; carrots, onions, and peppers sliced; cauliflower broken into bite-size florets. Measure your vegetables.
For each quart of vegetables, combine in a nonaluminum saucepan 1 1/2 cups cider vinegar, 1/2 cup sugar, 3/4 cup water, 1/4 tsp. each turmeric, mace, and red pepper flakes; 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds and pickling salt. Bring to a boil. Dissolve 1 T. cornstarch in the remaining 1/4 cup water. Stir into the boiling brine. Allow the brine to come to a boil.
Into each clean, hot quart jar, pack the vegetables, leaving about 1/2 inch head space. Cover with the hot brine, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Remove any air bubbles. Seal. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Adjust seals if necessary. Let cool undisturbed for 12 hours. Store in a cool, dry place.
The brine may settle a bit as the jar stands. Shake the jar before serving. Do not open for at least 6 weeks to allow the flavors to develop.