This week's Independent's column the dish is all about canning: Pickles, co-munching and the USDA. In it, Ari LeVaux gives some insider info--tips and tricks--about canning as well as the USDA guidelines.
Some highlights include: Slicing carrots and peppers into rounds about a half inch thick. Jalapenos are the ultimate pepper to use for pickling. Add a teaspoon of salt and a tablespoon each of yellow and brown mustards seeds to the bottom of each quart jar. To make Mexican-style peppers and carrots (escabeche) add a tablespoon or sprig or two of oregano. Use a brine of 50/50 vinegar and water, with the vinegar equal parts cider and white wine vinegar. Undercook and under-vinegar the vegetables as long as you know to never eat from a jar that has lost its seal or whose lid does not display the telltale concavity that indicates a vacuum.
What are some other people's secrets to great pickled veggies?