pickled vegetables sweet and sour

Been a busy few days.

As Justus is going to study at the University of Leiden he needs a place to stay close to Uni. Every day travelling for over 2 hours each way is too much.
We are trying to make an appointment with an organisation who do room renting with supervision. This is specially for people with disabilities and for Justus this would be ideal. However, making an appointment seems not to be that easy. First the person to contact us is on holiday and when trying to make an appointment with someone else, this person has a broken arm and the second person now has to fill in for some one who fell ill and cancelled the appointment made. This is now going on for about 5 weeks and we had all the time in the world due to the holidays. Now Justus has to start his college we have to fit it around all our own appointments. This is not an easy task.

Lee got himself a new phone now his old phone contract has expired and he is like a kid in a sweetshop with it. He choose a Samsung Galaxy S3 and he has not put this thing down since yesterday. Glad he is so excited with it.

We went to the local market and got away with several kilo’s meat (chicken), green beans, butter beans, bananas, carrots and after that I’ve been busy on canning all this today and yesterday. The result can be seen on below picture.
(the meat I did put in the freezer of course). A few of the jars have the clamps still on as they are cooling down.

As you can see I use a variety of pots and jars. They have been collected over the years and from the time I used to do a lot of canning 20 years ago. The colourful bottle on the left contains pickled vegetables for which you will find the recipe below.

1 tbsp fennel seed
1 tbsp musterdseed
1 tbsp all spiceseed
1 tbsp mixed pepperseed (pink, black, white)
5 bay leaves
1 tsp cloves (whole)
1 ltr vinegar
3 cups sugar
3 tbsp salt
optional: left over red wine

cauliflower, cucumbers, onions, carrots, paprika, tomato or any other vegetable you want pickled.

Clean the cucumber, remove the seeds and put them in a bowl. Sprinkle them with the salt and let it rest for an hour.
In the meantime clean the rest of the vegetables and chop them into small chunks. Some vegetables are rather dense and may improve with a short cooking. I do this by putting them in the jars and pop them in the microwave for a few minutes. Of course you can also cook them for a few minutes on the stove and then move them to the jars.
After an hour rinse the cucumber shortly to remove most of the salt and add them to the jars.

While moving the vegetables to the jars, I do boil up the vinegar, sugar and spices untill all sugar has disappeared. I also switch on the watercooker to make sure I have enough extra boiling water to top up the jars.
When all the vegetables are in the jars, you can now pour the boiling vinegar mixture in the jars. Optional you can pour some red wine in it first. If you have not enough vinegar to cover everything in the jars, you can add the extra boiling water to it. Make sure you do not add more then a liter to it as else the solution will be too weak.
Now close the jars and leave them in peace to cool down. For extra security you can put the jars in a warmwater bath and cook them for an extra 15 minutes.

Please keep in mind when you are canning, you always work with clean tools, pots, lids etc. as the slightest bit of ‘dirt’ can spoil the canned food.

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