Saturday, October 1, 2011

Dilled Carrots

Last Sunday  we started our second part of our pickle mania marathon. Operation dilled carrots and pickled beets.

The carrots are such a treat during the winter months since they have a light brine and the sweetness of carrots.

Luckily I forgot the sheer amount of work involved in peeling and chopping the carrots from last year.

It took just over two hours to peel and chop the 25 pounds into sticks to fit into the jars.

There were several pounds of "dividend" carrots that were too small to cut into sticks that I cut into medallions.

With the majority of the sticks we created dilled carrots with garlic, fresh dill and brine from a recipe from the Ball Home Preserving Book.

A quick note on the brine - when we made the brine we initally found that the amount of salt that the recipe called for was WAY too over powering and so used half of the salt called for and a tiny bit of sugar to soften it.

Once we had the taste of the brine squared away it was pickling time!

This recipe is cold packed meaning that you put the spices and the carrots into the jars and then add the brine. The trick with carrots (and many other vegetables is to get enough of them into the jars so that they don't float willy-nilly in the jar - once packed firm they tend to stay put better.

Mark also tried a two recipe variations with some of the sticks that we hope will be interesting. Stay is the gist:
  1. Chinese inspired with ginger, star anise and Chinese chiles.
  2. Carribean with ginger, garlic, bay, habanero, all spice and yellow mustard seed.
All told we ended up with about 30 pint jars of pickled carrots.

While processing and pickling the carrots we roasted the beets for 2 hours and then late in the day set about peeling them. We ended up getting half way through before deciding that they would have to wait on another day.

More on that in another post...

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