Friday, August 6

In a pickle or just cooking in the rain!

Martyn wanted to make some picallili so that he could use up some of our courgettes. The only problem was that the process of boiling vinegar takes the breath away, brings tears to the eyes and also makes the whole house reek.  After making the first batch a couple of years ago we decided never again but then we tasted the picallili and it was just so good!

Last year we, (royal we that is), did the cooking in the garage but this was just another enclosed space so other than sparing the house of vinegar fumes it wasn't really a solution.

This year the idea was to cook outside on the patio. This morning looked as though it was going to keep fine and so the outdoor cooking area was set up and cooking began. Then half way through it started to rain quite heavily. Fortunately the outdoor kitchen was under a covered area and so the piccallili wasn't watered down by the rainwater. It doesn't look as though it is raining in the photo but honestly it was!

The only problem was to do with timing. The cooker clock had been set to the required cooking time. Rain meant that the kitchen door needed to be kept shut  but being stuck outside Martyn wouldn't be able to hear the pinger when the time was up. So a system of hand signals from me inside to him outdoors was needed.

End result was four jars of piccallili that should now stand for a while before being eaten - anyway we had some with our salad tonight and it was already delicious so why wait? Who knows we (royal we again) may even have another outdoor cooking session another day!

The jars still need labelling - that is as long as we haven't eaten it all first.

The recipe used was one given to us by Pat our plot neighbour and is available on my website here. In the unlikely event that you haven't any courgettes, cucumber can be used instead. We have also had a variation where runner beans were pickled in the sauce mixture which is also good.

To peek inside the pan then click here to visit Martyn's weather blog.


  1. Me and Himself were discussing making picallili only last night! I remember that 'house full of vinegar'smell only too well though :)

    I haven't had problem with my apples being nicked, but I have had to put large stones round the outside of the fruit cage to stop the foxes (or badgers) digging under the net to get to the gooseberries!

    Re the harlequin ladybirds - I've sent the photo off to the survey site, but I'm fairly sure that's what they are ....I'm NOT a happy bunny about that! I was chatting to my neighbour this morning and they've found some suspects too :(

  2. Hi Liz
    Bad news about the harlequins - I've always wondered if I would recognise them - are they very different from ours.

    Now seems someone is helping themselves to our blackberries as one area is suspiciously devoid of ripe berries. I don't battle with thorny canes - getting scratched to death pruning them back - for someone else to pinch them! It's never happened in the past so I hope it soon stops!

  3. I'm showing my ignorance here (yet again) but what is piccallili? Garnish, sauce, dressing??

    Christine in Alaska

  4. Hello Christine, Piccallili is a pickle that is usually used as an accompaniment to cooked meat or popped in a sandwich. It's a bit like a mustardy chutney with a kick. Can anyone else explain it better?


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