The last few weeks have been filled with bottles,veggies and fruits! vinegar, spices, salt and sugar, stirring and much more stirring and lots of boiling cauldrons. And yes I think of things this way, my pots double as cauldrons, knives become athames, and salt well we all know it holds many uses and the air is electric filled with moments where we imagine and create. I really do believe each moment is filled with its own magic, even in the most seemingly mundane of circumstances. Ingredients grown in my gardens, tended to by me the witch, lovingly watered, talked to and loved, providing the fruits, vegetables and countless herbs for the winter, bountiful, glorious and magical each in their own right; even now as the frost comes at night, her gifts are plentiful.
The kitchen table has seen the fruits and then bottled jams made of blueberry/lime, blueberry/apple, nectarine/plum/tomato and somehow it knows that as the tree out back ripens nitely it will soon be applesauce time. Beets was a couple of weeks ago, now sitting happily in the cupboard getting set for the winter, today there was cauliflower, green cherry tomatoes, carrots, onion and banana peppers, topped with fresh dill, all but the cauliflower and onion from our own gardens. The smell of vinegar filled the house, for me a welcome smell, yummys to come!
My recipe is simple for these; sterilize the bottles and lids, while still warm fill with assorted pre cut veggies, add Pickling brine ~ while sterilizing the bottles bring to a boil equal amounts of vinegar and water, 1 tablespoon of pickling salt per 4 cups of liquid, one tablespoon of pickling spice in a cheesecloth sachet ~ pour hot over veggies leaving 1/2 to 3/4" space. Put lids on and place in canning pot for 20 mins.
Let cool and store. Let sit a minimum of 2 weeks before opening if you can manage to keep prying hands out of it ~ totally lost the fight on the beets! For me the most magical of moments is as I watch my family enjoy one of my jars of magic. It really is everywhere and you really don't have to look all that hard, all you need to do is believe.......