A bit of a Pickle

Gardener:Somerset Sue

Date:10 Nov 2022

Blog Type:Vegetables, Recipes

The weather outside is simply NOT NICE. Like most of the country we are experiencing strong soueast winds which are playing havoc with the garden. Out broad beans are snapping and falling, our potatoes are having an extreme bad hair day and the roses and foxgloves in the flower border are all bent and bruised.

My heart goes out to everyone further north – I understand you are in for some really nasty winds tomorrow – hope your babies get through okay.

Thought I'd take the chance to write about some inside things today.

I promised James my recipe for pickling gherkins. This is a big recipe so halving or even quartering it will work fine.

Sweet Pickled Gherkins

4 kg gherkins

½ cup salt

6 cups water

2 ¼ litres malt vinegar

5 cups brown sugar

25 g whole pickling spice

10 cm piece of cinnamon stick

1 tsp whole cloves


  1. Wash the gherkins and scrub lightly to remove prickles. Mix salt and water (in a non-metallic bowl) and soak gherkins in it overnight. This is important as it will ensure your gherkins are crisp and crunchy.

  2. The next day heat your clean screw top jars gently in a 50 – 70 degree C oven. I aways put the tops in a bowl and cover with boiling water to sterilise them

  3. Put the vinegar, sugar, pickling spice, cinnamon and cloves into a large pot stirring to dissolve the sugar and then simmering for five minutes

  4. Drain the gherkins, put in a bowl and pour in enough boiling water to cover them. Pour off the boiling water immediately and while they are hot pack them into your sterilised jars.

  5. Pour the the vinegar mixture over them and seal at once with non-metallic lids. Keep at least three weeks before using.


I love the process of preserving, whether it's pickling, bottling or freezing. There is something very satisfying about putting food away when your garden is overflowing, for the days when fresh food is few and far between.

My preserve medley below features (top left) Pickled onions, chili jam, chow chow (top right) chilli jam, (bottom left) cucumber pickle, (bottom right) beetroot and bottled peaches.



A bit of a Pickle