Slightly Sweet Zucchini Fridge Pickles

two jars of finished pickles

When I was in Portland a couple weeks ago, my parents’ garden was in full swing. There were pole beans, baby greens in a big tub, slicing cucumbers, and an endless number of zucchini. I spent most of my time there preoccupied by the zucchini and all the culinary options it offers.

three zucchini

I pan-fried thick rounds in olive oil and garlic one night. The next day I made a big batch of zucchini butter to spread on toast and toss with pasta. I also made a huge batch of quick zucchini pickles for my parents to layer into their sandwiches.

zucchini in food processor

One thing you might notice about this recipe is that it calls for whole grain mustard rather than dried mustard seeds. This choice was driven entirely by what my mom had available in the house. And truly, I think the prepared mustard was a really nice addition. It adds a bit of extra body to the liquid and a nice roundness to the finished pickle.

finished zucchini pickles top

Because I made these pickles with an eye towards sandwiches, the slices are pretty thin. I you prefer something a little chunkier, feel free to do a thicker cut. You could also process these in a boiling water bath. However, if you have the fridge space, the texture of the fridge version really is a bit more sturdy and toothsome (which I like). To each his own!

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Giveaway: Anolon Vesta Cast Iron 5 Quart Braiser

anolon braiser top

I have a minor cookware obsession. I shop thrift stores for old cast iron skillets. I scan yard sales for vintage Le Creuset or Cousances. And I pick up stainless steel skillets at discount stores, always in the hope of finding a piece that will eclipse all others.

anolon handle

Because of this preoccupation, I find that I’ve become something of a cookware attractor. One more than one occasion, strangers have walked up to me with gifts of grill pans and ancient canning kettles. And last spring at the IACP conference, I unwittingly chose a seat that had been marked as a winner in an Anolon Vesta 5-Quart Cast Iron Braiser giveaway.

anolon braiser side

I turned in the card that marked me as a winner (there were a number of us that day) along with my mailing information, and several weeks later, this lovely braiser arrived on my doorstep.

The outside is a shiny red and the interior sports a matte black enamel interior. The interior of the lid is studded with raised nubs that are designed to channel flavorful liquid back into the food as it cooks. It conducts heat beautifully, cleans up easily, and makes an excellent small batch jam pan.

anolon braiser lid tilted

Back in June, I ran into the ladies who help Anolon with their PR and gushed about how much I’ve enjoyed this piece of cookware. They were delighted to hear it and asked if I might like to give a couple of them away. I think I said yes before the question was even finished.

So that’s what I’m giving away this week. I have two of these Vesta Braisers for two of you. Here’s how to enter.

  1. Leave a comment on this post and tell me something about your cookware situation. Do you you have very pot and pan you’ve ever dreamed of? Are you a cast iron person, or do you prefer stainless steel? Or perhaps, you’re on a mission to find the perfect skillet to complete your batterie de cuisine.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm east coast time on Saturday, August 8, 2015. The winner will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog on Sunday, August 9, 2015.
  3. Giveaway is open to US residents only (and is void where prohibited).
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left on the blog, I cannot accept submissions via email.

For more information about Anolon and their cookware, follow them on social media. Here’s where you can find them.

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube

Disclosure: Anolon is providing the two braisers I’m giving away at no cost to me. Additionally, the one you see photographed here was itself a giveaway prize, so I did not pay for it. However, no money has traded hands in order to bring this giveaway into being. This blog post exists simply because this is an excellent product and I’m happy to have an opportunity to share it with you guys. All opinions expresses are entirely my own. 

Upcoming Classes: Online Tonight! Collingswood Tomorrow!

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It’s August and I am teaching some classes this month (as well as one in early September)! This week, you’ll find me online, at the Collingswood, NJ library, and in Washington, D.C.

Tuesday, August 4 – Live online class via Concert Window! This time, I’ll be talking about pickling (quick, processed, and fermented) starting at 8 pm eastern time. Class is pay what you wish. Sign up here.

Wednesday, August 5 – Small batch canning demo and book signing at the Collingswood library. 6:30-8 pm. Free!

Saturday, August 8 – Canning classes at the United States Botanic Garden in Washington, DC. The morning session is Pickled Carrots Two Ways (10 am to 12 noon) and the focus of the afternoon session An Introduction to Preserving Beets. That afternoon session will include a pressure canning demonstration.

Tuesday, August 11 – Jam making class through the Cumberland County Society of Farm Women in Carlisle, PA. Class is from 6:30 – 8:30 pm and costs $15. Contact Deb Yorlets at 717-574-2217 to sign up.

Wednesday, August 26 – Live online class via Concert Window! This class will be all about canning tomatoes. I’ll demonstrate how to cold pack and process whole tomatoes starting at 8 pm eastern time. Class is pay what you wish. Sign up here.

Friday, August 28 through Sunday, August 30 – Canning workshop at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY. More details here.

Wednesday, September 2 – Low Sugar Plum Jam with Weaver’s Way. I’ll show you how to make a lower sugar jam using late summer plums and Pomona’s Pectin in the kitchen at the Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting House. 7-9 pm. Click here to register.

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Links: Poached Tomatoes, Spicy Beans, and a Winner

marisa in a jar

For most of the year, my work is confined to my apartment, where I cook, take pictures, and write. Then summer comes and I spend vast swaths of time traveling to distance cities to teach, demonstrate, or collaborate. This last week was heavy on the traveling and collaborating.

I spent Wednesday and Thursday in San Francisco, filming a canning video with the crew from Brit + Co. From there, I flew a very indirect itinerary to Indiana, arriving on Friday morning for Saturday’s International Can-It-Forward day (which was totally delightful). I headed home on Sunday morning and was so happy to sleep in my own bed last night (blame the lateness of these links on my extreme weariness). Here are this week’s links!

Mrs. Wages mixes

The winner of the Mrs. Wages tomato mix giveaway is #275/Martha. I’ll be in touch shortly!

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Gingery Pickled Blueberries for International Can-It-Forward Day

Sad news, friends. The livestream isn’t working. We’re recording demos as I type, and they’ll be available tomorrow. The Ball Mason Jar Celebrity Auction and the special $5 deal on the Ball Canning Discovery Kit (use the coupon code CIFD15 to get the discount) are still happening, so make sure to check them out.

finished pickled blueberries horizontal

It’s International Can-It-Forward Day! Time to stop what you’re doing, get yourself some produce and head to the canning pot. If blueberries are still in season, may I suggest a batch of Gingery Pickled Blueberries?

blueberries in colander

When I first started pickling fruit four or five years ago, I experienced a lot of resistance. People weren’t familiar with it and so often dismissed it as unappealing. However, thanks to both the increasing popularity of shrubs/drinking vinegars and chefs who started putting all manner of pickled fruit on their menus, I’m finding a more welcome climate out there for these tangy preserves.

pouring berries into colander

I find that pickled blueberries are a really great introduction to the world of pickled fruit. For one thing, the require almost no preparation (pickled peaches are also delicious, but you’ve got to scald those peels off). You give the berries a quick rinse and look them over to remove any stubborn stems.

berry-stained tools

The brine is nothing more than vinegar, water, sugar, and some sliced ginger. Once it boils, you tumble the berries in and cook for a few minutes. Once they’ve started to boil and the brine turns dark purple, the cooking portion is done. You get the berries in the jars, top them off with brine, pop the lids and rings on, and into the canning pot they go.

pickled blueberries side

I like to eat these berries with cheese or scattered on top of a salad of baby arugula, feta, and toasted almonds. They pair really well with creamy cheeses, and I’ll often take a jar to parties with a log of goat cheese and some sturdy crackers. They also go really nicely anywhere that you’d serve cranberry sauce.

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International Can-It-Forward Day Saturday, August 1

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Friends! I’m dropping in on this fine Friday evening to remind you that tomorrow is Ball Canning’s International Can-It-Forward Day. Starting at 11 am eastern time, we’ll be streaming live from the brand new Fresh Preserving test kitchens in Fishers, Indiana.

I’ll be showing you how to make a batch of Gingery Pickled Blueberries at 12:15 pm. Also demonstrating are Liz Lathan from Hoosier Homemade, Christy Jordan of the Southern Plate, Malia Martine Karlinsky from Yesterday on Tuesday, and Jarden Home Brand‘s very own Chef Sarah Page.

When you’re ready to tune in tomorrow, come back to Food in Jars. I’ll have a blog post right here on this site that will be streaming the festivities. If you prefer, you can also find the stream here.

Looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow!

 

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