Wednesday, 10 August 2011

A Pickling Party!

Social media is under the microscope for the part it has played in the riots that started in London this week and have traveled throughout the UK.  Although Facebook and Twitter have been used to plan the devastating anarchy that Britain has seen unfold, they have also been the platform for movements like #riotcleanup to mobilise armies of broom-wielding helpers to pull together in the aftermath.  It is thanks to Twitter, for example, that the world witnessed the very British act of making tea, where riot shield became tea-tray, that showed that even in the face of adversity, community spirit still reigns.

Community spirit.  In an increasingly insular world it is heartening to know that it still exists.  The really great thing about social media is that it can bring together people from across the world, united by a common interest.  The gluten-free community, the food-blogging community, the Crohn's community, all the bigger, richer, more supportive through Facebook and Twitter.  In July 1500 people made pie together.  It started out as a discussion between a handful of people on Twitter and grew from there.  This month, we're having a pickling party!

I'm fairly new to the word of pickles.  Making them, that is (at university, my friend and I would buy a jar of pickled onions each and eat them in one sitting.)  I had a glut of chillies from my plant last year so I pickled some and realised how easy it actually is to do.  Then I made piccalilli and fell in love.  Last week, I opened my last jar and that meant it was time to make some more...

I have given the measurements for 1kg of vegetables so that it's easy to scale up or down as needed.

1kg Vegetables (I used cauliflower, cucumber, radishes, baby onions, and a red chilli - use whatever you have)
1/2 cup Salt
650ml Cider vinegar
30g Arrowroot
10g Ground turmeric
15g English mustard powder
5g Ground cumin
5g Ground coriander
5g Ground white pepper
200g Sugar

  • Wash the vegetables and chop them into bite-sized pieces.  Put them in a colander and sit it over a bowl, sprinkle the salt over the vegetables, cover and leave overnight. 
  • Overnight the excess liquid will have come out of the vegetables, rinse the salt off with cold water and drain.
  • In a large pan, bring the vinegar (less 1tbsp) to the boil, reduce to a simmer.
  • Mix the last tbsp of vinegar with the arrowroot powder and add to the simmering vinegar, along with the spices and sugar.  Stir until the sugar has dissolved and there are no lumps of arrowroot.  

  • When the mixture starts to thicken, add the vegetables and stir in. Simmer for a further minute before spooning into sterilised jars.
  • Allow the piccalilli to develop for around 6 weeks before eating.  Unopened, it will keep for about a year.

1 comment:

  1. I'm the founder/moderator for Punk Domestics (, and I'd love for you to submit this to the site. Be sure to tag it #pickleparty. Good stuff!