I tweak this recipe every time I make it, but always forget what changes I make. This year I’ve written it down, because it has turned out especially well.

Brown Pickle

10 oz. carrots
10 oz. prune plums
2 large tart apples
1/2 large rutabaga
1 medium zucchini
4 onions
6 cloves garlic
1/2 large head cauliflower
5 oz. dates
25 small gherkins
1 Tbsp. browning (optional)
1 Tbsp. tamarind concentrate (or 1/4 cup lemon juice)
1 Tbsp. worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. allspice
2 tsp. mustard seeds
1 tsp. cayenne
500 ml malt vinegar
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup molasses

Finely dice all vegetables. Place in large heavy saucepan or stock pot with remaining ingredients. Bring to boil and simmer gently for 2-4 hours, until vegetables are soft and desired level of browning has been achieved.

Ladle into hot jars to within 1/2″ of top and process in hot water bath for 15 minutes for half-pint jars, 20 minutes for pints. Yield: about 3 Litres.

I love this stuff. It’s a pretty good knock-off of Branston Pickle, which sells for about $6 for a 250 ml jar here in Canada. I put it on crackers, or spread it in sandwiches or (dare I confess?) eat little scoops of it with a spoon. It’s also good as a side relish with cold meats (a.k.a. ploughman’s lunch).

Even better: the kids in our family don’t think much of sweet pickles and therefore most of the eating falls to the grown-ups.

Brown pickle