Fresh Pickles

Curried Green Tomatoes. Get the recipe in The Complete Guide to Pickling by Julie Laing.
Curried Green Tomatoes. Photograph by Andrew Purcell.

When most Americans think of pickles, they think of what I’ve gathered into the Fresh Pickle chapter in my new cookbook, The Complete Guide to Pickling: vegetables pickled in vinegar and either stored in the refrigerator or canned in a boiling water bath. The recipe list for that chapter includes some pickles that are likely old favorites (Kosher-Style Dill Pickles and Water Bath-Processed Beets) but also some fun, possibly new-to-you flavors (Curried Green Tomatoes and Szechuan-Spiced Cucumber Rounds).

But some of my new favorite fresh pickles fall in a later chapter of the book: Sweet and Fruity Pickles. I was surprised by how much I loved creating the pickle recipes in this chapter, because I generally turn up my nose at pickles labeled “sweet.” But that term is usually applied to pickled vegetables, like cucumbers and beets, that my brain doesn’t register as needing to be sweet. Fruit is a different story: whether I’m adding sugar or relying on the natural sugars within a fruit, my taste buds find that sweet and fruity pickles balance beautifully with the tang of vinegar or salt brine.
Read more about fresh pickles and learn to make Fresh Pears with Lemon

The Complete Guide to Pickling

I’m excited to officially announce that my first cookbook is coming out. Read more about The Complete Guide to Pickling at TwiceasTasty.com.
After a lot of hard work for the past several months, I’m excited to officially announce that my first cookbook is coming out: The Complete Guide to Pickling. It’s packed with essential information and 125 flavorful recipes, including homegrown classics and international flavors. You’ll find straightforward and scrumptious recipes for quick, fresh, and fermented pickles, as well as sweet and fruity pickles, hot sauces, relishes, salsas, krauts, chutneys, and more.

This month’s posts will focus on the book, including sneak peaks at recipes, bonus info about the project, and a new digital recipe collection that uses the pickles.
Read more about my new cookbook

Prepare to Pickle

Pickling lets you extend the life of almost everything you grow. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
Pickling lets you extend the life of almost everything you grow. You can pickle and eat your creation quickly, or you can let the jars sit for weeks to slowly preserve and flavor the produce.

As I mentioned while describing the pros and cons of pickling, the process, whether using vinegar or salt brine, safely preserves low-acid foods and can be varied to incorporate your favorite flavors and the size of your harvest. Pickling is a preservation technique but not a storage one; you need to pair it with canning or refrigerating. Some tips and tricks will help you successfully make pickles.

Read more about preparing to pickle

Prepare to Can

You know you’re serious about preserving homegrown food when you start canning in your kitchen. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
You know you’re serious about preserving homegrown food when you start canning in your kitchen. As summer temperatures peak and the garden explodes, canning supplies take up semipermanent residence on the kitchen counter, and many evenings feature the “ping” of sealing jars.

As I mentioned while describing the pros and cons of canning, it’s a time-consuming process with must-follow rules and specialized tools. That’s part of why I’m such a fan of canning large batches and even multiple batches: If I’m going to spend the time, I want to fill a row of jars. Otherwise, I choose a quick preservation method like refrigerating or freezing. I even stash produce in the fridge or freezer to can later when I have a decent stockpile and more time. Doing so breaks up the canning process, making it seem less of a project.

Even though they take effort, canning projects are worth it, and some of my most delicious preservation recipes are stored stably and safely at room temperature in jars.
Read more about water-bath canning