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Pickling gods have arrived in the Van de Elzen house.

Pickling, being different to preserving as you are adding a sweet and sour element. With the gardens producing a huge amount of produce at the moment, there’s no better time than now, to set aside some time to pickle some vegetables.

Even if you don’t have a vegetable garden, your local vegetable shop is bound to have some bargains.

Tried of those carrot sticks? Pickle those suckers and they will have a worthy place on any platter.

I’m keen to get people pickling everything, that way you will have a pantry full of pickles.

So here’s Mike’s basic pickling brine that’s going to be your base

Mike’s Basic Pickling Brine

Makes 1.25 litres

  • 700 ml water
  • 500 ml cider vinegar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 Tbsp sea salt
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbspn each peppercorn, coriander seeds, fennel seed, mustard seed

Roast the seeds and combine them with the other ingredients.
Place all ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil, stirring until the salt and sugar has dissolved.

Prepare vegetables and drop them into either a cold or hot pickle.

Use a cold pickle for things like

  • Shredded cabbage for a pickled slaw for your pork sliders
  • Hard boil eggs, peel and marinate for 2 weeks
  • A great one for this time of the year, sliced tomatoes, baby yellow, Roma and beefy reds. Pop them into the pickle and store them for weeks in the fridge
  • Cucumbers, cut into wedges. Stuff into jars and pour the pickle over the top
  • Pretty much any vegetable that you want a raw crunch

Hot Pickle

Boil the pickle and pour it hot over things like

  • Carrots, mushrooms, kumara, beetroot and Pumpkin


Another couple pickle recipe’s

Base recipe with 5 Tbspn soya sauce for a dark pickle

  • Mushrooms and baby onions

Base recipe a good glug of gin and 10 juniper berries

  • Cucumbers, perfect for when the adults arrive
  • Summer cherries, sweet and sour at their best