Back when I was a young kid I can remember my grandmother canning. She would make pickles, Jams, Jellies and even pie fillings. I used to try my best to help her in the kitchen by ladling the liquids into the mason jars and measuring out the sugar.
It wasn't until my early 20's I decided to try and do it on my own. My husband at the time and myself were growing a ton of produce and needed a way to preserve everything. I would make my own tomato sauces, Salsa and pickled everything!
When I first started making pickles I was a bit naive. I would use store bought canning salt, Pickle Crisper and Pickling Spice which can all get pretty expensive. Typically pickling spice is anywhere from $3-$5 for a small container and to be honest, there's not a lot of flavor in it. I actually found myself using more to make my pickles taste better which only cost more money.
Making your own pickling spice lets you add what you like and what you don't as well. I personally leave our coriander because I'm allergic to it and it gives me horrible migraines. If I used the pre bottled stuff, I would be sitting there for ever trying to pick it all out. I did however add Coriander to this recipe because it is a big part of makes pickles taste like pickles!
I understand too that some of these spices may not be in your local stores. The key ingredients to any Pickling spice would be the coriander, Black Peppercorn, Bay Leaves, All Spice and Clove. Everything else just gives it more aromatics.
Making your mix is simple just add
2 tbs. mustard seed, 2 tbs. allspice berries, 2 tbs. coriander seed, 1 tbs. peppercorn, 10 whole cloves,1 tbs. whole cardamom pods,3 tsp. ground ginger, 3 tsp. red pepper flakes, 3 bay leaves and 3 tsp. ground cinnamon to an air tight container like a mason jar, give it a little shake then store in a cool dark location.
To use just add 1-2 tbs. of your Pickling Spice to a vinegar brine when called for and simmer on low for 10 minutes.
I use this as a base for all my picked produce like Carrots, Peppers and even my Hot Pickled Eggs & Kilabasa. Don't worry though, this mix doesn't have a lot of heat to it. You can always omit the Red Pepper Flake as well is you really don't like spicy foods. If you do like heat, I suggest doubling the Red Pepper and throwing in a couple Jalepeno peppers thin sliced too. That's the great thing about pickling, you can make it what you want so long as you have a strong Pickling Spice base like this one.
If you enjoyed this read please leave a comment of what you would like to see next! I always have something cooking in the kitchen and I love to inspire others any way I can.
2 tbs. mustard seed
2 tbs. allspice berries
2 tbs. coriander seed
1 tbs. peppercorn
10 whole cloves
1 tbs. whole cardamom pods
3 tsp. ground ginger
3 tsp. red pepper flakes
3 bay leaves
3 tsp. ground cinnamon
Mix all together then store in an air tight container. To use, add 1-2tbs of your Pickling Spice to your Vinegar Brine and simmer on low for 10 minutes.
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