Home cooking: End-of-the-Garden Pickle

September 25, 2012

Hagerstown resident Julia Brugh gets together with her mother and sisters every year to harvest and can produce. They call themselves the Wildcat Growers Cooperative.

Brugh said the idea behind the End of the Garden Pickle is to take anything that is left from your garden and use it in the relish.

"The End of the Garden pickle was produced on Columbus Day every year," Brugh said. "Mom took all the leftover vegetables that there was not enough to do with individually, and she made this pickle."

She said the recipe makes use of whatever is left in the garden — a carrot or two, a handful of green beans, a dozen green tomatoes, whatever. The only necessary ingredients are green tomatoes and cabbage, she said.

"This year was the most successful for the Wildcat Growers Cooperative. Together we canned over 12 different items," she said. "The time we spent together creating these delicious things and the appreciation our kids and friends show for our hard work has created memories for us to share in the years to come.

"I'm already looking forward to next summer and producing even more."

— Chris Copley, Lifestyle assistant editor

End-of-the-Garden Pickle

1 cup sliced green tomatoes

1 cup sliced cucumbers                                               

1 cup sliced onions                                   

1 cup chopped sweet pepper                                       

1 cup chopped cabbage                                               

1 cup chopped celery                                                   

1 1/2 cup non-iodized salt

1 gallon of water

1 cup green beans, cut into 1-inch segments

1 cup chopped carrots

2 tablespoons mustard seed

2 tablespoons turmeric

1 tablespoon celery seed

2 cups vinegar

2 cups sugar

Wash and prepare vegetables, using coarse blade for all chopped vegetables

Mix together tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, pepper, cabbage and celery.

Mix salt into water to form brine. Place mixed vegetables in brine and let stand overnight.

Cook cut beans and chopped carrots in boiling water until just tender. Drain well.

Drain the brine from soaked vegetables, mix with beans and carrots, add remaining ingredients and boil the whole mixture for 10 minutes.

Boiling-water processing:

Examine canning jars for nicks, cracks, uneven rims or sharp edges that may prevent sealing or cause breakage. Examine canning lids to ensure they are free of dents and sealing compound is even. You must use a new lid each time you process. Rings may be reused.

Wash jars and two-piece caps in hot soapy water, and rinse well. Heat jars and lids in a saucepot of simmering, 180-degree water. Do not boil lids. Allow jars and lids to remain in hot water until ready for use.

Fill boiling-water canner half full with hot water. Elevate rack in canner. Put canner lid in place. Heat water just to a simmer. Keep water hot until used for processing.

Fill hot jars one at a time with vegetable mixture. Wipe rim and threads with a clean, damp cloth. Remove lid from hot water using a lid wand. Place lid on jar, centering sealing compound on rim. Screw band down evenly and firmly, just until resistance is met — fingertip tight.

As each jar is filled set it into the elevated rack in the canner. After all jars are filled and placed onto the rack, lower rack into canner. Water level must cover the two-piece caps on the jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add boiling water if necessary.

Put lid on canner. Bring water to boil and process in water bath for 15 minutes. Start processing time after water comes to a rolling boil.

When processing time is complete, turn off heat and remove canner lid. Let canner cool 5 minutes before removing jars. Remove jars from canner and set them upright, 1 to 2 inches apart, on a dry towel to cool. Do not retighten bands. Let jars cool 12 to 24 hours.

After jars have cooled, check the lids for a seal by pressing on the center of each lid. If the center is pulled down and does not flex, remove the band and gently try to lift the lid off with your fingertips. If the lid does not flex and you cannot lift it off, the lid has a good vacuum seal. Wipe lid and jar surface with a clean, damp cloth to remove food particles or residue.

Label jars and store in a cool, dry, dark place.

Yield: 3 to 4 pints

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