Storing food for the winter: Achara (Pickled veggies)
Together with our families, we thought of cooking and bottling our own pickled vegetables (achara in Filipino) for the winter season! One of our children also designed the label while others helped in chopping the vegetables or preparing the syrup. Truly, it can be a worthwhile activity that can involve everyone in the family. 🙂
The pickled vegetables was adapted from Vanjo Merano’s food website, Panlasang Pinoy, with some modifications in the ingredients; such as the use of apple cider vinegar, which gives giving it to a sweeter taste, thus reducing the amount of sugar added to the syrup. The veggies we used for this one included papaya, bell pepper, carrots, onions, garlic, and ginger. Care was also observed in sterilizing the jars (mason jars were used for this one) and Sue Riedl demonstrates, through a Globe and Mail website, how to do it properly.
Although it’s quite challenging to chop or slice all those vegetables-not to mention the time spent for dehydrating the julienne papaya and squeezing out the juice by using a cheesecloth-getting help from other family members helped us a lot. Likewise, making the achara evoked memories of our childhood, particularly Christmas day when our grandmother would give us a jar of achara (hers was a bit dry but sweet and crunchy).
Nevertheless, achara goes well with most fried, broiled or boiled seafood (fish, calamares, oysters, shrimps) and probably even stewed or preserved meat (adobo). Try out making one for yourself and enjoy!