"Rare is the August evening when I'm not slicing, canning, roasting, and drying tomatoes - often all at the same time. Tomatoes take over our life. When Lily was too young to help, she had to sit out some of the season at the kitchen table with her crayons while she watched me work. The summer she was five, she wrote and illustrated a small book entitled "Mama the Tomato Queen", which fully exhausted the red spectrum of her Crayola box."
The above quote is from my favourite book, "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver (p.199).
I too love pickling, and pickles. Last weekend saw us preparing a whole host of pickled items - I made pickled beetroot and tomato & chilli relish. Sam made pickled onions and sauerkraut. Our friend Lucy made the most fantastic cumquat and ginger marmalade. Yum!
Cutting and boiling the beetroots. Love that pinky red goodness.
Peeling the pickling onions. We all got stingy eyes and had to take teary breaks. Luckily we had some homebrewed cider to see us through.
The sauerkraut - ready to start fermenting.
Pickling is actually quite easy to do, you can find loads of recipes online and if you can pick up a big bag of tomatoes/onions/jamming fruits that are about to go out of season and are going cheap - it can be cost-saving too (of course you can also grow your own, like Barbara Kingsolver did, but our vegie garden isn't quite up to that yet). At the same time, pickling is quite time consuming, but if you invite some friends around to join in on the making (and the onion-related crying), put on some cider and a cheese platter, it makes for a fantastic afternoon in this cold weather.