My life has become consumed with preserving as much as possible in as many ways as possible. I know I have mention my latest class adventure before but it had not only filled my Saturdays with learning but provided inspiration beyond inspiration. Not only are the Seattle Tilth Master Food Preserver curriculum and teachers amazing but my fellow classmates are some seriously creative, dedicated, inspiring people. There is Janelle from Talk of Tomatoes, Stacy from Seattle Seedling, Beth from Goodness & Flavor, Gill from 21 Acres, Hal who has dehydrated just about everything, Justin who 'accidentally' comes home with truck beds full of produce and many, many more. It is going to be a canning, drying, fermenting and pickling heavy summer people. I can't stop writing down ideas! and recipes! This recipe I amended to preserve the snap peas coming out of my garden right now. One of the challenges with preserving from your home (most likely small) garden, is that not everything is ripe at the same time. There is no way my pea trellis will have a quarts worth of peas at one time, but a pint is easy, easy pickings. So I made my quart of brine and I kept it in the fridge, packing pint sized jars as my peas were ready. Snap peas made an interesting pickle, the are super crisp and fresh but they do loose a lot of their pea flavor. If you don't have enough time to eat them and you need to get them off the vine, this recipe is perfect. These are refrigerator pickles, they are not shelf stable. If you processed them the peas would have to be cooked and they would loose most their pleasant crisp. We pretty much eat these guys straight out of the jar, but they add great flavor to fresh spring salads and I bet would be superb in chicken salad.Pickled Snap Peas adapted from The Joy of Pickling
Makes 1 quart
1 1/4 cups white wine or distilled vinegar
1 1/4 cups water
1 tablespoon pickling salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 pound snap peas, stemmed and strung
4 garlic cloves
2-4 small dried hot peppers, slit lengthwise
2 tarragon sprigs
1. In a nonreactive saucepan, bring to a boil the vinegar, water, salt and sugar, stirring until dissolved. Let the liquid cool.
2. Pack the peas into a quart jar (or a few smaller jars) along with the garlic, hot peppers and tarragon. Pour the cool liquid over the peas and close the jar with a nonreactive cap.
3. Store the jar in the refrigerator for at least 2 weeks before eating the peas. Refrigerated, they will keep for several months.