|Summer Garden in a Jar|
Makes 20 pints or 10 quarts
In a preserving kettle, combine carrots, beans, cauliflower, onions, celery, green bell peppers and red bell peppers. Sprinkle with salt and mix well with your hands; add water. Cover with a plate and let stand for at least 8 hours but the best results come when left overnight. Stir periodically. (I usually do it whenever I think of it).
The next morning, drain and rinse under cold running water. This should be done about three times. After the last rinse, let drain thoroughly in a large colander for 1 hour.
In a kettle, combine vinegar, sugar and spices tied in a cheesecloth bag. Bring to a boil and let boil 5 minutes. Add the drained vegetables and olives. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes at the most. (Make sure that this is JUST simmering or else the veggies will be cooked TOO MUCH and taste terrible - all soft and mushy and ugly! The veggies should be JUST crisp-tender.)
Pack the veggies into hot, sterile jars; ladle liquid over the veggies, leaving 1\8" headspace. Distribute the spices from the bag evenly between the jars. I usually add two dried cayenne peppers to each pint at this time. You may add as many of whatever kind you would like, in place of the cayennes. Up until now, all the dried chiles I could get in quantity was cayennes, so that is what I used.
Seal immediately and tighten lids finger-tight. Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes for pints or 20 minutes for quarts. When done, remove from the water and cool on counter. When cold, label, date and store in a cool, dry, dark place. Let stand for 6 weeks before using.
Though this may seem like a lot of pickle, we use is as a vegetable for light lunches or buffets. Serve this with a thick slice of homemade bread and butter and a slab of cheese - nothing better! Those who eat meat can serve it with whatever type you wish. It goes with everything!
If you want to make the jars really pretty, try soaking and cooking the veggies seperately. Pour some of the prepared pickling liquid over each type of veggie seperately, then simmer them. Layer them in the jars, keeping each type seperate. Make sure that you distribute the colors in pleasing layers.
You then pour the liquid over veggies in the jars as per recipe. I usually use quarts for this, because it looks so much nicer. This takes some extra time, but the results are worth it.
From: Marilyn Warren
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