Katie Lee Shares Her Grandma’s Pickling Secrets

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Katie Lee Shares Her Grandma’s Pickling Secrets

By Katie Lee

I always brag on my grandma’s cooking, but I owe my grandpa a little more credit.  It was thanks to his green thumb that we had such nice produce on the dinner table each night.  Grandpa had a fabulous garden that he tended to with such love and care.  In the spring, he would plant lettuce and peas and sow seeds for summer, and at the end of the summer he would start to work on his fall crops like carrots, greens, and beets.

With every turn in season came a new bounty of fruits and vegetables to preserve.  I have many memories of staying up late while Grandma canned tomatoes and sitting at the table stringing green beans with my mom and aunt.  The pantry at my grandparents had an entire wall filled with Mason jars that provided us with homegrown summer vegetables all winter long.

I especially loved when Grandma would make homemade pickled vegetables.  I’m a vinegar fanatic and the combination of it with the savory and the sweet makes for quite a treat.  I carry on our family tradition by making pickled vegetables with just about anything my garden grows.  Whenever guests drop in, I open a jar and serve with some cocktails and I’ll grab a jar when headed to a friend’s house for dinner as a hostess gift.

While I do preserve plenty, I find my garden often yields more than I can use.  In this time of economic distress, more and more people are in danger of facing hunger.  Our nation’s food banks are seeing an increase in attendance and a downturn in revenue.  I recently learned of a program that allows individuals to donate the abundance from their garden to a local food bank.  Just one tomato plant can yield 12 pounds of produce!  I like to think my garden is growing for the greater good.  Check out www.GroGood.com and www.FeedingAmerica.org for more information.

Pickled Vegetables

I am a vinegar lover, so anything pickled is a favorite of mine. I make pickled vegetables throughout the year. This recipe calls for carrots, cauliflower, red peppers, and jalapeños, but try substituting other vegetables you enjoy in different seasons.

Ingredients:
2 ½ cups apple cider vinegar
2 ½ cups water
¼ cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
2 cups baby carrots
1 head cauliflower, broken into bite-size florets
2 red bell peppers, cut into strips
2 jalapenos, cut lengthwise into quarters and seeded (or leave seeds for spicier pickles)

Directions:
In a stockpot over medium-high heat, bring vinegar, water, sugar, salt, peppercorns, and bay leaf to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.

Add vegetables and reduce heat to a simmer.

Cook until vegetables are tender, about 10 to12 minutes.

Remove from heat and let cool completely. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until serving (keeps about 2 weeks).

Drain before serving.

YIELD: 6 SERVINGS (6 CUPS)
PREP TIME: 15 MINUTES
INACTIVE PREP TIME: 2 HOURS TO COOL
COOK TIME: 12 TO 15 MINUTES

Katie Lee began cooking at the age of four in her grandmother’s kitchen. Her broad culinary experience ranges from regular appearances as a Correspondent for The Early Show to the Judges panel on Iron Chef America. Her second book, The Comfort Table: Recipes for Everyday Occasions will feature menus for various celebrations at home offering full menus, and simple suggestions for décor and ipod playlists to complement the theme of the meal. Visit Katie Lee at www.katieleehome.com.

Read More From Guest Cook in Paula's Kitchen.

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Reader Comments:

54321

thanks I love these veggies and look forward to making. Thanks for sharing!

By terry on April 29, 2011

54321

anything on pickling or canning all be looking,,wanna get back into canning again,,,,,,,.,.so keep posting

By debra olszyk on April 29, 2011

54321

Would love to know how to can these for saving or do you just do this for the fridge and not keepin ...Will try them but would love to can some for winter use..

By Lin Eargle on April 29, 2011

54321

Okay my question is about the pickled vegetables. Is there some way to can them so that they keep longer than the two weeks. It's coming up on gardening season and my family loves pickled vegetables and would like to have some home canned jars in the pantry come winter. I use them in pasta salad, my kids don't like regular pasta salad so I invented my own recipe for pasta salad that they fight for. Thanks, Lynette

By Lynette Westvang on April 29, 2011

I love to can and than share with my family and friends.  Actually my husband and I like to can together.  We are both retired and it is something we like to share.

By Anna Parham on August 04, 2010

This is a great article.
Keep up the good work~!
I love it very much.
Patsie Stinoff
PS. I am 72 years old and still love to cook and
my children and grandchildren love it also.

By Patsie Stinoff on August 03, 2010

THANKS FOR THIS WONDERFUL RECIPE. I LOVE TO CAN THINGS FROM MY GARDEN AND WHAT BETTER WAY THAN TO SHARE IT WITH WONDERFUL FRIENDS. GOD IS SO GOOD.

By Dona Burns on August 03, 2010

I too, have fond memories of my grandmother canning and pickling the delicious organic produce from my grandfather’s garden.  I also carry on that tradition, and am thankful to have food to share with those less fortunate.  It is wonderful to be blessed, and even better to be a blessing.

By melanie hardy on February 21, 2010

Have Katie Lee’s “The Comfort Table”. Am happy to add this to our family’s recipes, especially since we have a garden! Glad to see a new generation of cooks. Keep up the good work Katie Lee!

By Karen Lambert on November 12, 2009

THANKS FOR YOUR RECIPE , I LOVE TO CAN TOO.I WILL TRY THIS ONE.

By janice neucere on November 06, 2009

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