Mona Personius of Mona's Table here in Alameda, gave a terrific class today on pickling! We pickled cucumbers, asparagus, cauliflower, carrots, and all sorts of veggies. I felt so old-fashioned and domestic. It was great! Mona led the brigade through the process (no pun intended) and we had a great time.
The veggies were cleaned, sliced and prepped. Mona prepared the brine, which was a combination of vinegar, water, herbs and spices. And, for sweeter pickles she added a little sugar.
Preparing the brine:
Preparing the brine:
I made a jardiniere batch with cauliflower, corn, onions, celery and carrots. The one Mona had for us to sample was amazing! (I kept at the jar the whole time. Yummm!!)
After preparing the brine, we blanched the vegetables that needed to be blanched, in the brine, then stuffed the previously sterilized jars.
The sterilizing of the jars, lids and bands is a crucial step to ensure no "funkiness" happens and to keep it all safe.
After the jars are filled, then we poured more brine into the jars and capped them off with lids and bands. The jars are then "processed" in a boiling pot of water. We were told that they needed to be on an even surface and then left undisturbed for a while afterwards in order to make sure they are properly sealed. I think I'm writing all this down to keep it properly stored in my own memory as well as sharing the experience with friends. There is a lot to remember!
While all this was going on, Christina from
the Alameda Point Collaborative, was cooking up some blueberry syrup. (Pictured with Michelle, who is helping her out).
On the outskirts of all this action, Mark Hardwick, our fearless Slow Food Alameda leader, plodded away, filling his jars with green tomatoes, garlic, jalapenos and curry parsley.
When she wasn't helping Christina, Mona's friend Michelle filled her own jars with gorgeous tiny vegetables. She used both a savory brine as well as a brine made with lavender (wow!).
Rick & Julien
from the Feel Good Bakery were on hand to help and put together jars of bread and butter pickles, dill pickles and cucumber Kim Chi.
What a great day! Thanks Mona!