This past week I found time to tackle several pickling projects. For one thing, I have been wanting to make pickled garlic ever since I read Lynn’s post about it on her blog. I am looking for ways to preserve our garlic, and to be able to enjoy it for a longer period of time. Last year’s harvest was all shriveled up by late March, which left us with (sob) several months of NO GARLIC! Pickling is one way to make the garlic last longer.
I am also going to try freezing some whole cloves of garlic and see how that works. I know the texture will change, but hopefully the flavor will still be there after thawing out.
Back on the pickling front, I also had some pepperoncini peppers ready to pickle. We don’t eat a lot of these peppers, so I only planted one plant. But even with one plant, there are usually a lot of peppers, so I like to pickle some of them. I didn’t process these in a boiling water bath, since they will stay in the refrigerator and be eaten within a month or so. For them I used a recipe for pickled peppers from my Ball Blue Book. For whole peppers like this I always cut a slit in them to allow the pickling solution to get inside the pepper, and to keep them from floating. This variety of pepperoncini is larger than what you usually see pickled at the grocery store.
And when cucumbers are available fresh from the garden like they are now we always have a batch of refrigerator pickles to munch on. I made these with rice wine vinegar, sugar, canola oil and a little salt.
After the pickles are made comes the hardest part for me – waiting until they are ready to taste! I won’t open the garlic for several months, but the pepperoncinis will be ready in about a week. And by the time you read this, those cucumber pickles may already be history!