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Cider No.1 – “Pickled Goose”

We have a new cider – Pickled Goose! Cider No.1, as it has been fondly known since pressing it in early October, is a mix of Tremlett’s Bitter, Lord Derby, Ellison’s Orange and Forfar. It fermented reasonably quickly, over the course of four weeks, and is now bottled – ready to drink! I have to admit, I haven’t drunk it in anger yet, and feel the need to drink a bottle of it alongside cider No.2 (Tally Ho) is in order, to compare flavours. Again, as every other time, I’ve missed the chance to bottle it with some reserve sugar still unfermented, so it’s a flat dry cider. It didn’t help that I was away when it finished!

2016 cider 1e Pickled Goose

Pickled Goose cider

The name? Well, we have animals here as you know, but we’ve never used them on a label to date. These two chaps are Barty and Harold, our resident Pilgrim males – who are always acting up, deciding which bit of any unsuspecting human they should sample first. In fairness, Harold has a bit more about him and realises that the humans bring water and corn, so he tends to nip Barty on the back when Barty attempts an attack. During a chat with a friend from abroad, he misheard me and thought I’d mentioned ‘Pickled Goose’, and wrongly assumed it was some sort of thing the English did! Knowing how our two chaps behave, it seemed an appropriate name for a new cider, and there we have it! And before anyone mentions it, yes I know they’re ganders, but it’s just a matter of semantics 🙂

Pickled Onions

Having been sat in the garage for two weeks waiting for their moment in the limelight, time was finally found to do a spot of pickling. These were the Brown pickling SY300 onion seed that we sowed back in March and we were starting to lose some as they turned squidgy.

Basic preparation of the onions – spend an evening in front of the telly peeling and topping and tailing them. Give them a good rinse out in fresh cold water. Then pop them all into a bowl, cover with more fresh cold water and add plenty of sea salt until you can’t dissolve any more into the solution. Cover with something to stop flies/dust/dogs/children getting in and leave overnight. The salt leaches the water from the onions and will make for a crisper onion. The fact that it is sea salt in theory gives a clearer finish to the pickle.

Next day, drain the onions and pat dry to get rid of as much water as possible. As it was my first time I cheated and used ready-spiced pickling vinegar – I washed and popped into a 100 degree oven the jars. Not one for totally cheating, and feeling slightly adventurous, I mixed the pickling vinegar with balsamic vinegar – 2 parts PV to 1 part BV, and then brought the pickling/balsamic vinegar concoction to simmering point. Removed the jars from the oven, popped the onions in tightly and poured the warm vinegar in. The heated contents pulled the pop-up middle of the jar lid down to create a decent seal as it cooled. Job done.

Next time I’ll experiment with my own pickling spice mix, but gently does it 🙂