Canning Disaster! Not a botulism disaster, but a disaster none-the-less.
The post formerly known as: Pickled Pearl Onions
My grandmother used to make the most delicious pickled pearl onions. I’ve never had anything else like them. I have what I thought was the recipe but after speaking to my aunts and my father I wasn’t sure. One Aunt has a recipe that involves soaking the onions in a Crock for six (SIX!) whole days. She remembers the crock breaking though and not being replaced and we ate these for years.
After finding the perfect onions at an Italian grocer on the Danforth, I decided to try it. I thought long and hard on how to approach making these. The pressure was high. My dad mentioned the disappointment of biting into bitter commercially prepared pickles while my aunt talked of other people’s versions being sickly sweet. My mother is sure that the 24 hour soak can’t be right as my grandmother was way too modern for such an old fashioned method.
So, I went out on a limb and guessed that she kept the flavouring of the original recipe but moved on to the more modern method, which only involves a 24 hour soak. I split the difference and did a fridge soak for 48 hours.
After finalizing my approach and making all the necessary conversions, I made the brine, peeled a gazillion tiny onions, carefully cut off their ends with scissors, soaked them, pickled them up, and processed them in a hot water bath for 30 (THIRTY!) minutes, photo documenting every step.
Today was the day, I opened a jar, only to find the bitter taste of absolute failure.
This is how bad they are. They are simply the worst things I’ve ever tasted. And certainly not my grandmother’s famous onions that went so well with roast beef.
So please, if you have a recipe for pickled onions, please share. You can post it in the comments or link to your own blog. If I try your recipe, I’ll even send you a jar.
In the meantime, enjoy this photo essay on how to make really labour intensive and expensive compost. Let me note, that in the case of improperly canned preserves, never compost the evidence, throw it right into the trash. These particular jars were canned perfectly, they’re safe to eat, but you really couldn’t pay me to.
Oh, and Jen and Andy, you’ll want to throw that jar out. Shana, you too.