Ok, so I could in theory jam carrots. In fact, Tigress jammed hers, but I opted for pickles. It seemed the natural thing to do with carrots. I scoured the internet for recipes and ended up modifying a recipe for gardiniera. I increased the vinegar because the original recipe was for refrigerator-style pickled veggies and not canned and safety is a concern when canning.
I wanted so badly to use local carrots. I thought for certain I could find them. Alas, there were none to be found. Not at the Mercato. Not at Oryana. Definitely not at the grocery. I even E-mailed the folks at Providence Farm. They had carrots. Unfortunately they are in the ground still. Andrea was confident that they’d be good for soup or stew if I wanted them, but I wanted crisp carrots so I had to settle for organic carrots from California.
I bought two bags and brought them home. And waited. And waited. The kids ate a good chunk of my carrots before I yelled at them. I bought another bag. And waited. I realized that I didn’t have any of the tall jelly jars that I wanted for this particular project. I bought jars. I went to the store and bought new vinegar. (That is a whole post in itself and I’m on a deadline, so I’ll get back to this. See, I told you I’d get to it.)
Finally, I was ready to can. I peeled carrots. I even got Gwen to help me peel carrots. Once the carrots were peeled, I trimmed them so that they would fit in my jars with adequate head space. See?
These are the tips from 5-ish punds of carrots. Once the carrots were prepped, I put my jars into my oven at 200 degrees so that they wouldn’t shatter when I poured hot brine in them, turned on the boiling water bath and started the pickling brine:
3 cups distilled white vinegar
3 cups water
3/4 cups sugar
5 tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
the seeds from a Farmers’ Market pepper that I dried this summer
Bring the brine to a boil and add carrots. Boil for 2 minutes. Pack hot carrots into hot jars, fill with brine leaving 1/2″ headspace, lid the jars and process in boiling-water bath for 10 minutes.
One would think that 6 pounds of carrots would result in more than three jars. It did, but there weren’t enough spears to fill another jar so unfortunately, I had to eat the extra spears. They were delicious. I had more brine left, so I sliced some more carrots and boiled them in the brine for two minutes.
I managed to fill one pint jar with carrot coins, but Gwen and I finished at least another pint before they ever hit a jar.
Now, I just have to contact Lelo in Nopo and order up my fancy-shmancy labels.
Today I bought four more pounds of carrots, but I will be planting lots this year because these pickled carrots are a hit!
Previous Can Jam entries:
January: Blood Orange Marmalade