“Reading is one form of escape. Running for your life is another.”
When I found this recipe for Lemony Pickles, it made me think of Lemony Snicket... maybe I'll call them Lemony Snickets!
Here's what I did...
In my large stainless steel bowl, I mixed 14 cups of veggies (cucumbers and yellow squash this time... any number of combinations of fresh vegetables would work nicely... or just cukes)
4 red bell peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. canning and pickling salt
I mixed it all together well, covered the mixture with ice water and let it stand at room temperature for 3 hours.
In the meantime...
I made a spice bag using a square of cheesecloth... I added
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp. black peppercorns
1 tsp. whole allspice
I tied it all up in the spice bag and set it aside.
In a large stainless steel saucepan, I combined
3/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1-1/4 cup granulated sugar
1-1/3 cup white vinegar
I added the spice bag to the brine mixture and brought it to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. I reduced the heat and boiled gently for a few minutes (recipe said 7 minutes, I think I went a little longer).
Then (after the 3 hour ice water soak) I drained the vegetables in a colander...
I added the veggies to the brine mixture and brought it all back to a boil, then discarded the spice bag.
After heating my pint jars and lids I added to each hot jar...
1 slice of lemon
1 bay leaf
1 clove garlic
I packed the vegetables into the hot jars to within a generous half inch headspace. I ladled the hot pickling juice into the jar to cover the veggies, removing air bubbles and adjusting headspace as necessary. I wiped the rim with a damp cloth and tightened the lids on to fingertip tightness.
I processed the jars in a boiling water bath... ensuring they were completely covered with water, I brought the water to a boil and processed for 10 minutes.
After processing, I removed the jars from the canner using my jar lifter and set them on a folded dish towel on the counter to cool, and to listen for the PING of each successfully sealed jar!
According to the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving... "If you find traditional pickles too astringent, try this refreshing alternative. Lemon juice provides a unique flavor, and a touch of sugar takes the bite out of the vinegar. For best flavor, let these pickles 'mature' for 4-6 weeks before using."
For a printable copy of this recipe, click here.