Previous generations, it seems, were wise to the providence of homemade pickles. Where once pantry shelves were lined with colourful pickles and preserves for all seasons, today’s shelves seem more bare than bountiful.
Where once pantry shelves were lined with colourful pickles and preserves for all seasons, today’s shelves seem more bare than bountiful.
But, like so many traditional skills, the art of pickling is on the rise.
Copper Pot Preserves
Those who were lucky enough learned by Grandma’s side. The rest of us, thankfully, have Marcia Fordyce—Chef, Caterer, pickling pundit, and founder of Copper Pot Preserves in Squamish, BC.
It was a family tradition, she explained, “My Grandma and my Mom were always huge makers of preserves in the Summer and Fall, and taught me what was what.”
After working as a chef for many years in local restaurants, she started gifting jars of pickles to family and friends.
It wasn’t long before orders for more came flooding in. “Everyone loved it!” she said.
Fresh from Local Farms
Fordyce now sells her treats to pickle fans throughout the Corridor at local farmers’ markets from Whistler to Vancouver.
“My whole thing is to take a gourmet twist on a home cooked treat…it’s not just your average strawberry jam,” she said about her small batch preserves. “I cook in season and go for what’s local from the farmers.”
There are endless opportunities and flavours with pickles, she explained, but the key, she said, is freshness.
“The key to good picking is a fresh product for sure. That and balancing out the flavours properly.”
Homemade Pickled Carrots Recipe
Though you can pickle just about anything, newbies would do well to start with carrots and dills, Fordyce explained, as they’re more forgiving than produce such as beans and asparagus, she explained.
This Zesty Pickled Carrot recipe was inspired by her mother-in-law’s recipe for garlic dill pickles.
“Pickled carrots are one of my favourite memories from childhood,” she said. “My grandma used to make, but they’re not easy to find so I started pickling them.”
- Although pickling can involve a lot of trial and error, starting with fresh, cold products and proper methods is essential. “Creating something that’s nice and crisp is one of the hardest things to master,” she said.
- Note that cooking times can vary depending on the size of jars that you’re using
- Grape vines can help keep the produce crisp
- Choose vinegar with 5% or more acetic acid
If you like pickled foods, try the Salted Vine Pickled Beet Salad