To Melissa, pickles meant dilled cucumbers on hot dogs and hamburgers, but the
picked everything in sight. First, the spiced vinegar for pickling:
Spiced Vinegar for Pickling
3 gallons vinegar
1 tablespoon alum
1 teacup salt
Pickling hints: Never allow vinegar to cool in copper, bell metal, or brass vessels, as it is poisonous. Keep pickles only in wood or stone ware. Do not keep pickles in common earthenware, as the glazing contains lead and combines with the vinegar. Anything that has held grease will spoil pickles. Stir pickles occasionally, and if there are soft ones, takes them out and scald the vinegar, and pour it hot over the pickles. Keep enough vinegar to cover them. If it is weak, take fresh vinegar and pour on hot. Do not boil vinegar or spices over 5 minutes.
To Pickle Peaches
Take ripe, but hard, peaches, wipe off the down, stick a few cloves into them, and lay them in cold, spiced vinegar. In three months they will be sufficiently pickled, while retaining much of their natural flavor.
To Pickle Peppers
Carefully remove seeds from green peppers, so as not to mangle them. Soak them nine days in salt and water, changing it ever day, and keep them in a warm place. Stuff them with chopped cabbage, seasoned with cloves, cinnamon, and mace; put them in cold spiced vinegar.
1 ounce cloves
1 ounce allspice
1 ounce nutmeg
1 ounce of whole pepper
1 ounce race ginger
1 ounce horseradish
½ pint mustard seed, tied in a bag
4 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons salt
Wipe the nuts, prick with a pin, and put them in a pot, sprinkling with the spice as you lay them in; then add salt; boil sufficient vinegar to fill the pot and pour over the nuts and spices. Keep for a year in a covered jar, then pickles will be ready for use. The vinegar makes an excellent catsup.
Fine Pickled Cabbage
2 spoonfuls whole black pepper
The same quantity of allspice, cinnamon, and cloves, in a bag
2 quarts vinegar
Shred cabbages, spread it in layers in a stone jar, with salt over each layer. Scald pepper and spices in vinegar and pour the vinegar over the cabbage, and tightly cover for two days.
Pickled Beef Tongue
Beef, pork, tongues or hung beef
4 gallons water
1 ½ pounds sugar or molasses
2 ounces saltpetre
6-9 pounds salt (depending on storage time)
2 ounces sugar
½ pound salt
Mix the meat in water, sugar or molasses, and saltpetre. If it is to last a month or two, put in 6 pounds of salt; if you wish to keep it over the summer, use 9 pounds of salt. Boil it all together gently, and skin, and then let it cool. Put the meat in the vessel in which it is to stand, pour the pickle on the meat until it is covered, and keep it for family use. Once in 2 months boil and skim the pickle, and throw in 2 ounces of sugar and ½ pound of salt. When tongues and hung beef are taken out, wash and dry the pieces, put them in paper bags, and hang in a dry, warm place. In very hot weather, rub the meat well with salt before it is put in the pickle, and let it lie 3 hours for the bloody portion to run out. Too much saltpetre is injurious.
From "Memories in the Kitchen: Bites and Nibbles From 'Bryony'"
All proceeds benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Will and Grundy Counties. www.bbbswillgrundy.org
Order the cookbook at www.bryonyseries.com/Dalton_s_Dry_Goods.html