About Linda Ziedrich

Since selling the farm where for 22 years I grew, prepared, and wrote about fruits and vegetables, I’ve been continuing my experiments in the garden and kitchen of a little bungalow in the small town of Lebanon, Oregon.

The Joy of Pickling, The Joy of Jams, Jellies, and Other Sweet Preserves, and Cold Soups are the fruits of my empirical research as well as my studies of culinary traditions around the world. My current book projects include The Curious Kitchen Gardener (Timber Press, 2025) and First Fruits: The Lewellings and the Birth of the Pacific Coast Fruit Industry (Oregon State University Press, 2025). I also teach preserving classes, develop recipes, and take on writing and editing projects on request. If you would like to know more about my services, please write me at lindaziedrich@gmail.com. Write me at the same address for permission to republish any material from this blog or inquire about bulk sales of The Joy of Jams, Jellies, and Other Sweet Preserves.

82 thoughts on “About Linda Ziedrich”

  1. In Iceland angelika stems were used with rhubarb in jam about 50-50 ,and formerly to flavor alcohol the root was used.the fresh leaves in spring are delicious in salads and grilling fish wrapped in the leaves of angelika always gets applauses.

    1. Patt, thanks so much for this information. But were angelica and rhubarb really used in equal amounts in jam? My angelica seems much too strong for that. If you’re sure it’s true, though, I may try it.

  2. Dear Linda,
    First of all thank you for the fantastic pickling book. I used to borrow the copy from the library every season. Finally I bought the new version and I am in heaven. So is my husband. We are now a pickle a day believers.
    I have been pickling and canning since I was a kid helping my mom. This is the first year I will make sauerkraut – I am very excited. I plan on making it with just white cabbage the first time, but I have a question about using kale. I have a lot of White Russian Kale and Dino Kale in my garden. Can I mix in some with the regular white cabbage to make kraut? I have looked through all the canning blogs and I have seen kale kimchi so I am suspecting I can use some kind of ratio of cabbage to kale to make kraut. So have you tried this and can you recommend a ratio? I know that the kale has less water than cabbage.

    Again thank you for your time and glorious efforts. Sincerely, Lena Lopez Schindler

    1. Dear Lena,
      Thank you so much for your kind words about my book.
      I’ve never brined kale, although this year I intended to try brining thin green leaves of head cabbage–leaves that tried and failed to form heads after I cut the main head from the plant. I didn’t get around to this job fast enough, though, and so in the end I composted the leaves.
      Thick leaves like those of head cabbage and Chinese cabbage seem to have the best texture when pickled, and you’re wise to consider that they also contain more water than thinner leaves. If I were you, I think I’d use a small proportion of kale to cabbage the first time–say, 1 to 3. If the liquid drawn out by the salt doesn’t cover the greens by the next day, just add as much brine as needed (1 1/2 tablespoons salt for 1 quart water). I would be interested to know if you like the results.

  3. LInda-

    I have both your pickling and jam books. Love them! As a matter of fact, my daughter and I picked strawberries this morning at our favorite orchard and I just made a batch of your strawberry jam. Yum! Thanks for all the lovely recipes and techniques!!

  4. Dear Linda, I found your lovely blog while searching the Web for details about the difference between lemon juice and so-called Real Lemon. To my surprise, your blog resembles mine! In terms of design, but also of spirit. I would love to be in touch with you by email if possible. I live in Paris, have a garden in Burgundy, and my (very new) blog is called The Everyday French Chef. All best, Meg Bortin

  5. Hello, we love the website. Would it be possible for you to keep us abreast of any events that may be on your calendar? We want to create an event calendar for our fellow canners.

  6. Just discovered & realized you are an Oregonian -YAY I have read a few of your recent posts and think i will be hanging around a lot more. I have always done some canning but have kind of developed the “bug” this past year and began making marmelade IN THE WINTER . . . I have to say it was nice to drag out “the stuff” when it wasnt 85 degrees in the kitchen. Recently I made several trips to the peach orchard at Sauvie Island. I have some peach salsa – peach jam to show for it as well as a peach pie and a peach crisp. I decided to try my luck at pie filling and found clear gel was in most of the recipes. I didnt use as much as the recipes recommended . . . and dont know if this comment will cause you to become UNHINGED or not…..but I absolutely LOVED the filling it produced . . . to the point that perhaps it isnt the best thing for me to have 5 quarts of it in the cupboard. Have found the Decorette Shop in SE Portland to be the most affordable place to get it. Do you have a previous post about the virtues or lack thereof for clear gel (modified corn starch) that you could point me to . . . .or what are your thoughts about its use. I am thinking of grabbing some Gravensteins while they are nice and making a couple quarts of apple pie filling . . . .? Have i lost my mind?

    1. What a coincidence, Mary Beth: I’ve been experimenting with ClearJel myself in the past few weeks. I might have published a post about the stuff already if I’d thought to take a photo of the Marionberry tart I made with ClearJel or the blackberry pie Sharon Wiest made with ClearJel-based filling I provided last Saturday at the Culinary Center in Lincoln City. Since then I’ve used ClearJel to can some peach pie filling. I’ll try to find time to make a pie with it–and take a picture!–soon.

      Are the recipes you found and rejected the ones from Extension, with the food dye and water added?

      Do you really have 5 quarts of ClearJel in your cupboard?

  7. Thank you for writing back. I used a recipe from a site called “the kitchen whisperer” – essentially like all of the others including the extension. I did not use coloring and did add water as instructed. Would think using actual peach juice would really be nice though. The one thing that did not sink in when i filled the jars was to fill within ONE inch. Natually I had to learn this lesson the hard way, My jars didnt seal, they all continued to OOZE when I brought them out of the canner & had to be resealed. It seems this stuff has some “expanding” powers 🙂 Also, experienced the same when i made the pie from what was left over. It blew all over the sides (big time). . .good thing i set it on a parchment lined sheet. In hindsight though – I am wondering if this project was such a good idea . . . .Mr Wonderful and I finished the WHOLE pie – which usually never happens. After a day or two most pies I make become a soggy mess and we toss about half. Not this one, the clear gel rendered a BEAUTIFUL not-soggy pie. It is just a guess though, that once the filling has been heated in the waterbath, that it will not expand again when the pie is baked. Also worth noting, clear gel is significantly cheaper at The Decorette (about 1/3 of the cost) anywhere else . +/- $3.60 per pound

    1. Mary Beth, I allowed 1 1/2 inches of headspace. When I got the ratio of ClearJel to fruit and liquid right, the filling expanded just to fill the jar, with no oozing. Although the peach filling shrank as it cooled, the blackberry did not. You are correct that the filling did not expand any more when baked in a pie.

      When I put canned Marionberry filling in a precooked crust, we were able to leave the tart on the kitchen counter and eat it over five days without its ever becoming soggy.

  8. Hi Linda,

    I got your pickling book on a whim and have been delighted with everything I’ve tried. Lovely recipes, thank you!

    I do have a question about your pickled oranges and wasn’t able to find it addressed on either blog: when you slice down through rind and flesh to cut the sections, are you cutting them completely free of the membrane, like cutting sections sections for a salad? The slices don’t hold up well when simmered if I do so (though they’re delicious). Thought I would ask before the next batch, in case I should be leaving them in the membrane and cutting between the two layers.

    1. That’s a very good question, Sarah. I haven’t pickled oranges in years, but I believe I cut along one side of each membrane only, so that each slice was held together by a single membrane. This winter I will have to pickle oranges so that I can make the instructions clear.

  9. Hi Linda,

    First, thanks for your lovely book on pickling. I’ve always loved pickles, and am excited about making my own! I have a question about fermented pickles, since I am very new to these. I’ve made a couple of jars of your half-sours (which were both easy and delicious!), and have moved on to trying your ‘tea pickles’. The cucumbers have been in the brine for five days now, and I’m a little concerned about the brine appearance…it is not only cloudy, but there seem to be small floating chunks of sediment throughout (that don’t look like ‘eyeballs’ as you described yeast; these are more irregular and wispy). I’ve looked online to try to find an explanation but have had no luck. Can you tell me if this is normal, and the pickles are still going to be safe to eat? I’ve pulled off the brine bag and they smell good (no obviously ‘bad’ smells). One thing that might be relevant is we had a heat wave this week, so the temperatures in my house exceeded the 80F that you recommend. Any suggestions or input you could provide would be greatly appreciated.


    1. Suzanne,

      The “eyeballs” I described were mold. I’ve since seen other kinds of mold in pickles, but I think you would recognize them as mold. Yeast is pale in color and opaque. A good smell is a good sign, but I’m not sure about the “irregular and wispy” stuff. Lift some of the brine with a spoon, and let it fall back into the jar. Does it form a “rope,” as syrup does? That’s a problem that sometimes occurs during hot weather. I don’t think that a ropy brine is dangerous, and I don’t entirely understand what causes it, but I find it disgusting. If the brine is ropy, you can probably save the pickles by rinsing them, bringing the brine to a boil, pouring the brine back over the pickles, and then refrigerating them. I don’t advise processing these pickles, especially not if they aren’t yet well-soured.

  10. Hello linda, i am a big fan and frequent user of both your books. i was looking at the recipes for pickled and syrup preserved walnuts and was wondering if you could use black walnuts in their green stage for either of them? i was also wondering if you had ever made nocino and, if so, if you had any input on using black walnuts for making it? thanks. and thanks for all the great recipes and ideas i have gotten from you over the years!

    1. Darla, I make nocino every year, because my family and friends love it. Here’s a link to the recipe on this blog: .

      Although we have a huge black walnut tree right beside the house, I never use the nuts in their green stage. Juglone, the toxin in the roots, wood, and leaves of the black walnut, also occurs in the husks. So they probably wouldn’t be good for you even if they tasted good.

  11. Hi,
    I am trying to learn about pickling because I liked pickled foods and have a garden. I’ve read a number of recipes and I’m quite confused on just exactly how much (proportion) vinegar to use. I followed a recipe that Hank Shaw http://honest-food.net/2011/10/31/pickled-cauliflower/ related back to you on for pickled cauliflower and the vinegar is diluted by half (no mention if its 5% or 10% but I’ve never seen 10% in the stores). I have not been able to find a single Coopertaive Exentsion recipe for pickled veggies that dilutes the vinegar, they all use full strength (5%). The other question regards the necessity of cooking the veggies prior. Hanks recipes (who claims its bascially yours) does not, yet, all the Extension sourced recipes cook the veggies first (too much I think). Veggies like cauliflower have a lot of water in them already, so to dilute the vinegar by half, and ad to raw veggies seems questionable to me. Bottomline questions for me is it safe to dilute vinegar with water and if so to what extent? I’m becoming discouraged with the mixed messages methods and recipes across sources.

    1. Hank surely meant 5-percent vinegar. In my book I specify in the introduction but not in every recipe that vinegar should be 5 percent (the introduction is titled “Read This First!” for good reason). I’ve never seen 10-percent vinegar in stores, either.

      Extension recipes range from calling for straight 5-percent vinegar to specifying slightly more vinegar than water. Recipes differ in vinegar dilution because some pickles are meant to be more sour than others. The 50-50 rule is intended for making sure that old family recipes are safe to use.

      Whether pickles are cooked is likewise a matter of tradition, though cooking provides the benefit of tighter packing in a jar.

      If you are a beginning pickler, I suggest simply following a recipe that sounds good to you and that comes from a trusted source. I recommend my book, of course, but I also like this free basic guide to pickling from Oregon State University Extension: http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/20674/pnw355.pdf.

  12. Hi Linda,

    I’m a beginner to this experience, and have made a few pickle recipes from your Joy book. I have a question relating to a recipe I did of the olive oil pickles (page 98). I did as instructed, and opened around 4 weeks after pantry storage. They tasted amazing! After about a week in the fridge, however, the opened jar formed small, white beads at the top. They vary in diameter, but all quite smaller than the mustard seeds.

    The unopened ones do not exhibit this, and I am concerned that there is something wrong. Perhaps this is some congealing of ingredients, but I wanted to see if you’ve encountered similar results. I haven’t eaten them since they’ve been in the fridge (e.g., formed the beads), so am only hoping that the refrigeration is the factor here, and that they are safe to eat. Happy to send pics to an email link if you provide.


  13. Hi Linda. Love The Joy of Pickling! One of the many recipes I tried was the Marinated Sweet Peppers last September. It was the first time I had used olive oil in a pickling recipe. Interesting. While processing in the water bath some of the liquid came out so I had to wipe down the jars well before storing. The seals seemed to be holding. My question is this – some of the peppers in the jar are above the liquid, in some of the jars, quite a bit. Will it be ok to eat the peppers that have not been in liquid this whole time?

    1. Thanks for writing, Jennifer. When you add oil to a jar of pickles to be processed, any oil rising to the top of the jar can prevent a good seal, so it’s important to leave plenty of headspace (1/2 inch, including solids as well as liquid), to make sure the water doesn’t boil really hard in the water bath, and to keep the jars from tipping over. I’m glad your seals are holding!

      Because the processed jar has an airtight seal, the oil isn’t needed for its traditional function of preserving the peppers from spoilage. So peppers sticking up over the surface of the liquid will be safe to eat, although the small amount of air remaining in the jar may cause them to soften over time. Because the peppers have been soaked in vinegar, they cannot present any risk of botulism.

  14. Hello Linda, just purchased your 2 books “The Joy of Pickling and “Joy of Jams and Jellies” and really enjoy the freshness of the recipes. They have immensely broadened my canning horizons. I have a quick question about the shelf life for the recipe on page 110, pickled beets with red wine. Can I substitute brown sugar instead of white? I would like to leave some of the spices (I’d take the ginger out) in the liquid for jarring. Is a dry red wine best? If I do these changes, would it affect the shelf life? I have not used red wine vinegar/red wine recipe so uncertain of the shelf life. I noticed that many of the pickling recipes that use the hot water/pressure canning method in your books don’t list a shelf life. Is there a general assumption of one year, give or take, as the shelf life for the hot water bath/pressure using a red wine, apple cider, cider vinegar mixed with a wine? Curious to know as you state that altering the water to vinegar ratio is an important point to consider when canning, taste, food safety, shelf life, etc. Hence the question of shelf life for this recipe. Interesting point is I noticed I could find very, very few recipes that use anything but white vinegar.

    1. Chyrol, you can certainly substitute brown sugar for white and change the spices in the recipe for pickled beets with red wine. These changes will not affect the pickle’s shelf life. As for red wine, I tend to think of it as dry by definition, but of course sweet red wines have become popular lately. I see no harm in using sweet wine in this pickle, which contains a lot of sugar anyway, though I’d avoid any wine that’s very tannic. You can feel free to change the type of vinegar, too. Most pickle recipes call for white (distilled) vinegar first because it’s cheap and second because it’s colorless. I prefer to use fruit vinegars, for their subtle flavors and variable colors, in most pickles. The important thing is to use vinegar with an acidity of 5 percent or higher or to reduce the water content proportionally if you’re using a vinegar of lower acidity (rice vinegar is usually 4.0 to 4.3).

      In considering shelf life, it’s important to distinguish between safety and quality. Canned pickles or jam will keep safe, in general, until the lid comes loose or begin rusting away (sometimes mold appears on top of jam or jelly in a well-sealed jar, but water-bath processing should prevent this problem). So spoilage may not occur for decades. But the vegetables and fruits in the jars may soften and lose both color and flavor over a much shorter period. Jams and sauces may keep good quality for several years or longer, but pickled cucumbers and peppers generally should be eaten within a year.

      1. Hello Linda, Thank you for your answers. A question I have is I want to leave some spices in the syrup mixture and putting those said spices with the syrup mixture in the jars with the beets. I intend on hot packing (1st cooking the syrup mixture with the spices, then cooking the beets in the syrup mixture for about 5 minutes), loading the jars, then hot water bathing/pressure canner (haven’t decided which one I am going to use). It’s the leaving of the spices in the liquid that is going into the jars I do this quite frequently for other canned goods and enjoy the stronger spice flavours. As far as I understand, to stay on the safe side, always use dehydrated spices when canning, which is what I will be using (except the ginger, which I will only use in the initial syrup mixture and not put it in the jars). Pretty much every recipe I have read states to take the “spice bag” out prior to loading the syrup mixture in the jars. A little twitchy about this new recipe and don’t want to ruin it, so it is okay to leave my selection of spices in the jars? Learning still.

  15. Chyrol, I see I never answered your question from last August! I’m so sorry. Since others may have the same question, I’ll answer it now: The reason to leave spices out of pickle jars is that spices in the jars can become overstrong and unpleasant over time. If you plan to eat up your pickles within a few months, you probably needn’t worry about this. The spices present no safety issues.

  16. My parents pickled when I was a kid. Grandchildren now grace my kitchen. I want to learn the basics to get my feet wet. I found your book…The joy of pickling..revised edition, in a Flea Market in Bradenton, Fl. My granddaughters can learn along side of me as they have learned how to make bread at there fun age of 6. I wished I done this with my own children. Thank you for your work.

  17. Hi Linda,
    I write for the newspaper “Haaretz”, and hereby requests your permission to quote from your’s “Hop Shoots for Dinner” and use the photographs (once …), while giving you credit, of course.
    Thanks in advance for your reply,
    Shlomo Papirblat

  18. Hi Linda,

    I’m using the sweet Gherkin Pickle recipes in your book on page 271. I used fresh young American style pickling cucumbers. The cucumbers are small 2″ – 2.5″ and they didn’t sit for more than an hour before I did step 1. I used a paring knife to nip off both ends of the cucumbers because I wanted to make sure I did not introduce enzymes that would make my pickles soft and mushy. I followed the steps as outlined 1-4 and this morning I’m ready to move on to step 5, but my pickles are soft and a little shriveled. Is this to be expected? I’m curious, what is the finished pickle texture in the recipe suppose to be?

    Thanks for your great book!

    1. Lisa, as salt draws water out of cucumbers, they turn pliable, but they shouldn’t get mushy. Later they plump in the syrup. I don’t make sweet gherkins often, but in my experience they always turn out firm. Let me know how yours turn out, OK?

  19. Hi Linda
    I’ve got a nice crop off garlic this and decided to pickle some. I ALWAYS look at Joy of Pickling for ideas. Noticed that you suggest blanching garlic in the Spicy Pickled Garlic recipe? why is that? Just to make it milder? Thank you

  20. My wife and I have been using your Joy of Pickling for years to put by just about anything that comes in from our garden. I just ordered you Joy of Jams, Jellies et al.. Looking forward to it arriving. Although the raspberries, strawberries and wine berries are done for the year. May have to go the local orchards when it arrives for more fruits and produce. We always pick up a half bushel of ‘seconds’ apples in the fall.

  21. Dear Linda:

    Love your Pickling book and use it regularly to delectable effect. In fact I just made your bread and butter pickles as refrigerator pickles and was absolutely delighted with the results.

    Anyway, I have a question about bitterness in pickling cukes: According to a farmer with whom I spoke yesterday at the Sebastepol, CA farmers’ market, bitterness is a positive trait in pickling cukes because it causes (or correlates) with strong skin that can withstand the pickling process. He contrasted this with the non-bitterness traits of salad cukes whose skins are not bitter and therefore are tender.

    Do you know if there any basis in fact for his assertion?


    1. Debora, I’m grateful to you for asking, because this is a topic that really interests me. First, as you probably know, bitterness is a trait that is expressed in pickling cucumbers only with some degree of stress on the plant. But the bitterness is always apparent in the leaves, even when the plant is just a tiny sprout. The farmer may simply have observed that the bitterness trait seems to correlate with strong skin that can withstand pickling, or he may have read about research that confirms this correlation. If the correlation has been verified by research, I don’t think I’ve read the report. I do know that cucumbers bred to be bitter-free are mostly thin-skinned salad cucumbers. There is, however, at least one cornichon variety that has been bred to be bitter-free, Cool Breeze, and I have used it successfully. And there is at least one American-type pickler that is non-bitter, County Fair. I know I’ve planted that one, but I don’t recall how it has performed. In any case, long pickling removes the cucurbitacins that cause bitterness; the custom of brining cucumbers probably arose as a de-bittering method. Thin-skinned, non-bitter cucumbers are good for really-quick pickling only.

  22. Howdy Linda! My name is Steve, a master soup chef, who might be the world’s biggest fan of your book, Cold Soups. Few cookbooks tickle my fanny the way Cold Soups did. Cold Soups bring me so much joy. I love soup and I love it cold. I guess I’m just a cold soup fanatic. I would love to try some new recipes if you have them.

      1. OMG!!!! A NEW COLD SOUPS BOOK!?!? Is it Christmas in October!?!?!? Don’t tease me Linda. I need more cold soup. I am a wacko for gazpacho. Any recommendations for a cold soup with carrots? I really like carrots. Thanks in advance.

        1. Steve, there’s the Carrot and Orange Soup in the old Cold Soups book. Have you tried that one, and, if so, do you like it? I tend to favor purées, but maybe a cold soup with finally grated carrot in a broth would be nice, maybe with tiny shrimp?

          1. OMG! I made a carrot broth and put key west pink shrimp in it and it was a delight. Truly Devine. Cold soups make me warm inside which is funny because the soup is cold. Hehehehe. I am a silly man. I own a hot dog restaurant in an alley but COLD SOUP DOES NOT SELL! What gives!

  23. Hi Linda! My husband and I have your wonderful book The Joy of Pickling, and have been using it the last two summers to have preserve the fruits of our garden. We have made the piccalilli several times (it is very popular in our household) and really enjoy that we can vary the vegetables based on our garden supply. Is it typically safe to switch out vegetables in mixed vegetable recipes, or at least in recipes that are designed for low acid vegetables? We wanted to make your chowchow recipe, but switching out the cabbage and cauliflower for vegetables currently available in our garden (summer squash, eggplant and others).

    1. Yes, you can safely switch out vegetables in the chowchow recipe. Chowchow is by definition flexible. In general, though, it’s important to pay attention to processing times. Because beets are so dense, for example, pickled beets are processed longer than other pickled vegetables (especially if the beets are whole or in big pieces rather than sliced thin).

  24. Hi, I’m new to this. I have canning jars, a pot for sterilization, some Crystal Diamond Kosher Salt, and some Hot Burrito peppers, Jalapeño, Giant Marconi, and Bell peppers.
    I have Nakano Seasoned Rice Vinegar (4%), Nakano Natural Rice Vinegar (4.2), White Vinegar (5%), and Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar (5%). I want to use the seasoned and natural Rice Vinegar for the peppers. My friend says use a 50/50 vinegar/water mix but it doesn’t sound right. Can I use the Kosher salt as a substitute for canning salt? Is there a formula for using the rice vinegar? Or should I stick with the white vinegar?
    Thanks for your help.

    1. Dale, this article will explain to you how to substitute rice vinegar for 5-percent vinegar. I won’t attempt to tell you how to use your seasoned rice vinegar as a substitute for plain 5-percent vinegar, because the seasoned vinegar contains sugar and salt in amounts that I don’t know. I suggest using this vinegar as is to make quick (uncanned) pickles. As for the Crystal Diamond Kosher salt, you can certainly use it, but it has rather large crystals that take longer to dissolve than either Morton Kosher salt or pickling salt. And because these crystals are larger, the salt is less dense, so you need to use more when you’re substituting it for pickling salt. You may want to measure your salt by weight rather than volume. The Joy of Pickling can help you with this. You’ll find plenty of pickled-pepper recipes in the book, too.

      1. Thanks so much Linda. I just ordered “The Joy of Pickling 3rd edition”. Can’t wait to get it. I’ve searched the web and came across so many conflicting recipes. I look forward to canning/ pickling my garden vegetables as I’ve run out of neighbors to share them with. Bell peppers, Beets, Blue lakes, Broccoli, Brussels get ready for your brine baths!
        Thanks so much for the fast response.

        1. Dale, sorry for the late response; in trying to cope with spam I ended up sending my website comments to my spam email box! Anyway, I hope you like the book. Feel free to contact me anytime if you have questions.

  25. Hi Linda, Thank you so much for your books…I have both of them and have recommended them to many friends! I have a question however about the “Pickled Roasted Peppers” on pay 169 of the third edition of the “Joy of Pickling.” This recipe says explicitly that all the brine must be used in the four pints specified. I believe this is the only time I have run across this instruction in your pickling recipes. By using all the brine it essentially gives me jars half full of peppers. I understand having to cover the peppers completely but it seems like a waste of jars for such a small amount of actual product. Is that amount of brine really necessary in this recipe? Also, second question, can I normally do quarts of pickles assuming that I process longer for the quarts…say 10 minutes longer than for the pints?

    1. Diana, I’m sorry for the late response; in trying to cope with spam I ended up sending my website comments to my spam email box! Anyway, the “Pickled Roasted Peppers” recipe is one I use a lot, almost every year, so I’ll answer your question without consulting the book. Because the peppers are cooked, they collapse in the jar. This tempts you to fill the jar with peppers, but doing so would reduce the acidity of the entire jar’s contents, perhaps dangerously. Using all the brine ensures that your peppers are sufficiently acidified. They will expand a bit to fill the jar.

  26. Hi Linda! My husband and I love your books! I still have the 2009 Revised edition of “The Joy of Pickling.” This year I find myself with an abundance of mixed hot peppers. We absolutely adore the “Brined Peppers” 3 weeks fermentation recipe on page 71. You make note that this recipe will store in the fridge for several months, which is awesome, but I’d love to have some still around to eat in March. I’m wondering if it’s appropriate for low temperature pasteurization. Can this recipe be canned for longer storage? Thank you so much!

    1. Amanda, in the first edition of The Joy of Pickling I called for low-temperature pasteurization for several kinds of pickled vegetables, following the recommendations of Oregon State University Extension. But then the Extension folks realized that the study on which they had based their recommendations involved only cucumber pickles. No one has ever repeated the study with other vegetables, so low-temperature pasteurization is now recommended only for pickled cucumbers. This does not, mean, of course, that pickled peppers pasteurized by the low-temperature method would necessarily be unsafe. I don’t see why they would be, provided you’re sure that the peppers are sufficiently acidified. I would check with a pH meter and/or add a good glug of vinegar before canning the brined peppers. And keep in mind that they still might soften after a half-hour at 180 to 185 degrees F. If you try this, let me know how the peppers turn out, please.

  27. Hi Linda,

    In August of 2021 I made your “Really Quick Dill Pickles” from the Joy of Pickling – I just opened the first jar and was surprised at the flavor – not very tart and somewhere in between a classic dill pickle flavor, and a fresh cucumber flavor. Is this normal for this recipe? For what it’s worth, for me the 4 lbs of cucumbers ended up fitting in 5 wide mouth pint jars instead of 6 – not sure if this would make a difference in the flavor, if I packed them too tight.


    1. Carrie, that recipe, based on one from the USDA, calls for 2 3/4 cup 5-percent vinegar to 3 cups water, nearly a 1:1 ratio. That should make for a pretty tart pickle. Packing the pickles really tight would lower the acidity slightly, but not much; I would guess that you needed only five jars because your cucumbers were a little smaller than average. If you’re worried whether your pickles are safe to eat, keep in mind that the standard commercial ratio of vinegar to water is 1:2. If you’re not worried about safety but would like a tarter taste, just add a little vinegar and put the jar in the fridge for a week.

  28. Hi,
    I have been making sauerkraut for years. Love it! But the past three batches have failed and I haven’t changed a thing! I salt the cabbage and put it in my kraut crock per your recipe in the Pickling book but within a couple weeks the brine becomes super slimy and mucus like. Last time I even baked my crock and the weights to sanitize them. I’m at a loss! Do you have any ideas of what is going wrong or how I can fix it? Any ideas or help would be very much appreciate, I am desperate for some homemade sauerkraut!

    1. I occasionally have viscous brine, and I haven’t entirely figured out why or what to do about it. It may help to make sure that the crock has an intact (not crazed) glaze. Sanitizing is also good; I have boiled my weights before thoroughly drying them in the sun or in the oven. Of course, you’ll also want to be sure that your sauerkraut is well submerged in the brine. But apparently a viscous brine can be caused by a common bacterium in a healthy ferment, probably Pediococcus. The viscosity may disappear as other bacteria take over in the course of fermentation. If I judge my vegetables to be fully fermented but I still have a viscous brine, I rinse the vegetables, boil the brine, and pour it back over the vegetables. Afterward, the brine seems normal, not viscous at all. The flavor of the vegetables seems unaffected.
      If not only your brine but your cabbage is slimy at the end of fermentation, you will want to throw out the cabbage.

  29. Hello Linda

    I have a nice crop of fresh lima that I don’t want to pressure can nor freeze (freezer space is a limited thanks to bumper crop of berries). I thought I would pickle them and your “Joy of Pickling” was the first book I turned to. Nothing at all on pickling shell beans. The Ball’s Blue book has a 3 bean salad which combines snap beans & shell beans and uses water bath canning. And a quick internet search did not bring any canning recipes for pickles shell beans. That’s a little puzzling to me. I would think that they’d be delicious mixed with other canned beans for a mixed bean salad; with frozen corn for a succotash; on an antipasti platter etc. Do you know of any reasons why one should not pickle & water-bath can shell beans? Thinking of using the standard 50/50 vinegar/water & parboiled beans (and spices/herbs). Many thanks for continuing to share your experience with us.

    1. What a good question, Sylvie. I don’t know why I haven’t thought of it before.
      Here’s the USDA recipe for canned three-bean salad: https://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_06/bean_salad.html. You can see that it calls for canned rather than simply cooked beans, which seems silly. And I don’t know why you couldn’t use 4 cups lima beans instead of the other beans. But note what a strong pickling solution is used–full-strength vinegar and a lot of sugar.
      If we asked Extension whether the recipe you have in mind would be safe, we’d get the standard answer: Can’t say, because it hasn’t been tested.

  30. Hello Linda, I recently borrowed your book from the electronic library (The Joy of Pickling) in hopes of finding a recipe for pickling capers. Unfortunately though, I did not find something and as I am a novice in pickling I am afraid not to follow a recipe. I live in Greece where it is easy to find and pick fresh capers in the countryside, I would love to pickle them. Here in Greece the capers are heavily salted in brine and this is something that I do not prefer. I would love any ideas on how to pickle them as well as their tender leaves. Thank you in advance!

    1. Thanks for the question, Anna. I haven’t pickled capers, because I’ve never lived where capers grow. But here’s a nice little video about how it’s done in Turkey. Many recipes call for “soaking” capers in water, but in the video it appears that the capers actually ferment, although the water is changed every day. Then they are dried in the shade and covered in vinegar. I would say you could add salt or not, as you prefer. You could also cut the vinegar with an equal quantity of water, if you want the capers less sour.
      As for the leaves, I don’t know. If you learn how to pickle them, I’d love to hear about it.

  31. Hi Linda – thank you for your book “The Joy of Pickling”. I made my first fermented pickles with “Robert’s Tea Pickles” & “No Dill Crock Pickles”. I didn’t skim the surface every day though & after 3 weeks there was a white yeast (?) across the whole top of both with some grey spores & the brine tastes only salty, not tart or sour. I’m pretty sure that means I should bin the lot as I’ve let the yeast eat the vinegar & it hasn’t fermented properly. Is that the case do you think?

    1. Heidi, after three weeks I would expect the brine to taste sour, but I wouldn’t bin the lot at this point. I would skim the brine well. If the container has been in a cold place, I’d put it in a warmer place for a day or two to see if the fermentation can get going. After a week I’d taste again.

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