food, farming, friends and family: a meditation on chosen simplicity and (in)voluntary complications – life.

Sunday Night Rager


We here at 2726 know how to have a good time. This last Sunday was no exception, as we were up into the wee hours of Monday morning steaming up the windows, sweet smells wafting in the air …

Yep, canning really is sexy.

The object of our preservation affections this time? Carrots. We decided to pickle some carrots after 1) sampling them at the best Mexican restaurant in town (Casa Que Pasa) we discovered how delicious they are and 2) I came home from working at my friends’ farm with two huge grocery bags full of them. Every surplus is an opportunity to get creative (after getting overwhelmed, of course) and come up with something delicious. And this was no exception. 

We pickled some with dill seed, some with a sweet pickling spice blend, all with garlic. There’s a little more leeway with what you can add when you’re pickling because the acidity level is so high, but it’s always a good idea to double-check. Don’t want the botulism fairy to visit your house! We added sliced jalapenos into some jars for a spicy pickle, even threw in chopped up cauliflower into our last couple of quarts as carrot levels got low. And we canned them using a water bath canner.

Pickled Carrots
(makes 5 pints) 

4lbs Carrots*

6C water
2.5C vinegar
1/4C pickling salt

1tsp dill seed/jar
1 garlic clove/jar

*If you’re like me, you don’t know what 4 pounds of carrots looks like. What I did to figure out just how much I had on my hands was to put them in a gallon-sized bowl after I chopped them up. That held pretty true. Once the bowl was full, I had 4 quarts of carrots ready. The amount you’ll need will definitely vary depending on how tightly you fill your jars.
  1. Gather your canning materials and begin sterilizing your jars and lids. For some more comprehensive water bath canning info, go here.
  2. Wash, peel, and cut the carrots. We did some of ours in spears and some in coins about half an inch thick. Both stayed crunchy and delicious.
  3. Prepare the brine in a large pot – combine the water, vinegar and salt – and bring it to a boil on the stove. We used white vinegar, but apple cider vinegar would be tasty too. It tends to impart a little more flavor to whatever you’re pickling.
  4. Take a sterilized jar and put your garlic clove and spices in the bottom. Then pack the jar with carrots and ladle the brine over the top, leaving half-an-inch of head space.
  5. Process ten minutes in a water bath canner.

Unsealed jars (and we had two of them) are a blessing in disguise! Now you’ve got refrigerator pickles AND an early snack for those of us who like instant gratification. The flavors will meld and improve over time, but they were really good just the next day.

Let me know how they turn out!

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