… is a terrible heading, and I am sorry.
Anyway: I made pickles! I pickled pears, and I pickled eggplant.
The pears were courtesy of a friend who managed to salvage 2kg of them from a tree before the rosellas ate them all. I had had pickled pears at Kate’s house, with cheese and then in a chicken salad, and NOM. These were different from the ones she had: I used white vinegar and cinnamon and cloves; I used a recipe that was meant to be for pickled peaches (whichL whoa. If ever I get cheap peaches…). Kate used cider vinegar and rosemary and pepper corns; that will be my next trick, if I get more pears.
The eggplant were from my garden, because BY GOLLY I’m getting a lot. Trying to figure out when the darned things are ripe has been a hassle, since the first info I looked at was all about what the fruit look like on the INSIDE… which is less than useful. Finally I found someone who said eh, if the skins are shiny they’re probably fine. Which meant I got to go and harvest a lot. So I made pickles! They don’t look very appetising, hence no photo, but they have turmeric and cumin and lots of ginger (side note: I discovered that peeling ginger with a spoon is EXACTLY as awesome as all those people have ever said).
I am now about to make moussaka with more of the eggplant, so hopefully that goes well…
So apparently Australia doesn’t really grow gherkins, or when we do (commercially) there’s little demand so the farmer asks a high price which means they don’t sell etc. However I’m told that Lebanese cucumbers work fine, so that’s what we’ve got here.
These are bread n butter pickles from Small Batch Preserving, and apparently bread n butter pickles are a thing but I had never heard of them before. Can’t remember why I thought I’d try these rather than your standard dill pickles, but that’s where we’ve ended up.
I halved the recipe, because I wasn’t sure whether I liked pickles enough for 2kg of cucumbers. I also (and this will get me into trouble with at least one person, possibly two) left out the celery seeds, because I couldn’t find them in the one supermarket I checked and I was too lazy to go check somewhere more specialty and I’m SURE IT WON’T RUIN THEM SHUTUP.
(Oh no i Just noticed that I think one of the jars has an air bubble. Dang.)
Anyway the difficulty today was that the recipe said to water bath for 10 min. But I was going to use the Fowlers, and I can’t find anywhere whether you’re meant to wait for the unit to get hot before timing or what. It doesn’t make sense to start from first putting the jars in with such a short time, because you start with cold water. And – gasp – the internet has been of zero use. So – again, gasp – I emailed Fowlers to ask. This is like a step beyond reading the instructions (which I’ve already done). So we’ll see what they have to say.
So. Pickles. Another life goal achieved.