Pickle brine in stainless steel

I was making cucumber pickles and radish pickles. Made up a triple recipe for brine, processed the first batch, then I had to interrupt the whole thing to take care of a kid (goat) with health issues. By the time that was finished, it was late, and I decided to wait until morning to put up the rest of the jars.

Well, next morning, I realized my mistake — all that vinegar brine sitting in my new stainless steel stockpot all night! Of course, the stockpot (an expensive one, too) was grossly discolored, but I went ahead and processed the rest of the pickles. The brine was greenish tinted, but I assumed it was from the heads of dill I left in the brine.

Later, I noticed that dried spills and splashes on the counter had a faint greenish-blackish edge to them. The pickles look okay, but I haven’t opened or tried them… I’m wondering if the greenish color was not from the dill as I assumed (this is the first time I put the dill in the brine instead of in each jar), but from the steel? If it is, is this residue or whatever it is, unsafe?

Lynn of Moss Hollowe
The Dark Corner, South Carolina

It’s never a good idea to make up a double or triple batch of pickling solution. One reason is the one you found out. To tell the truth, I don’t know if it’s unsafe, but the flavor will probably be affected. The greenish color is from the discoloration from the reaction between the steel and vinegar, not the dill. I hate to waste, but I’d dump the pickles, if it were me, and re-can some fresh ones. — Jackie

Sourdough starter

It was so good to meet you all at the MREA Renewable Fair this weekend. I love your new cookbook. As we discussed, here is a reminder of the page 127 liquid omission in Grandma Eddy’s sourdough starter. Thanks for the great recipes and information.

Marc T. Preradovich
Oshkosh, Wisconsin

I double checked Grandma’s recipe and there are 2 cups of 110 degree (very warm) water in the starter recipe #1. I’m so sorry for this omission in the new book! We were happy to meet you, too! — Jackie


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