Making Pickles for the Radio

Last Friday, Alison and I were on CBC’s Information Morning chatting about mustard pickles, an interview invitation stemming from a CBC discussion earlier in the week on fish cakes and the nostalgia of mustard pickles.

So, we spent Thursday afternoon whipping up a batch of pickles in the office kitchen … for the radio. (Enduring numerous comments from friends and co-workers of “You know they can’t SEE you on the radio, right?”. Sigh. We know. We just like to be authentic.

Our dirty, little secret: Neither Alison or I especially likes mustard pickles. She’s more of a dill pickle kinda gal and I’m more of a bread and butter pickle type. However, this batch of pickles was actually pretty tasty.  This version has cucumber, carrots and cauliflower, but if you find yourself inundated with zucchini, you can substitute zukes for the cukes.  Prepare them the same way.

Here’s a picture of our beautiful, radio pickles.  We gave one jar to the folks at Information Morning and the other two are tucked away in our office root cellar.

You can find the recipe below.

Want to share your preserving stories or photos with us to win a fabulous prize? Check out our contest.

Want to learn to can? Check out our summer preserving workshops. Also, Red Fox Farm is offering workshops as part of their open farm days, the Spryfield Urban Farm is offering a Freezer Jam workshop on August 13, and if you’re in Sydney, check out the Can you Can? workshop on August 13 being offered by the Downtown Sydney Farmers’ Market.

Yours in Food,


Mixed Vegetable Mustard Pickle
Adapted from The Complete Book of Pickling by Jennifer MacKenzie

• 1 head cauliflower (about 8 cups chopped)
• ½ cup pickling salt
• 2 lbs pickling cucumbers (about 6 cups)
• 2lbs carrots (about 5 cups)
• 2 cups chopped onions
• 2 ¾ packed brown sugar
• ½ cup dry mustard
• 1 Tbsp celery seeds
• 1 Tbsp ground turmeric
• ½ tsp hot pepper flakes
• 3 ¼ cups white vinegar
• ¼ cornstarch

Day 1:
Chop the veggies: Cauliflower should stay in small 1.5 inch florets, Cucumbers in ½ inch slices, and carrots cut into ½ inch slices. If carrots or cukes are larger than a quarter, cut them in half. Put the vegetables in separate bowls and distribute the salt evenly to each. (Onions can be diced quite small and kept with the carrots.)

Add cold water to each bowl to cover by about an inch. Place plate on top of each to weigh down vegetables. Cover and let stand at room temperature for at least 12 hours or for up to 24 hours.

Day 2:
In a colander, drain and rinse your vegetables with fresh water. Drain again.

Get out your canner and start boiling water. Sterilize your jars in the boiling water for 10 minutes. New canning lids should be soaked in hot water.

In a large pot – whisk together brown sugar, mustard, celery seeds, turmeric and hot pepper flakes. Gradually whisk in 3 cups of vinegar until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat and stir in vegetables and return to a boil.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk cornstarch into the remaining vinegar. Stir into vegetable mixture and cook for two minutes or until mixture is slightly thickened and liquid is no longer cloudy. Remove from heat.

Using a slotted spoon, pack vegetables into sterilized hot jars, leaving 1 inch headspace. Top up each jar with hot pickling liquid, leaving ½ inch headspace. Remove air bubbles, wipe rim and place hot lid disc on jar. Screw band down until fingertip-tight.
Place jars in canner and return to a boil. Make sure that the water covers the jars by at least one inch. Process for 15 minutes. Carefully transfer jars to a towel-lined surface and let stand for 24 hours before moving to your pantry. Check lids and refrigerate any jars that are not sealed.

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