I always like to have a hostess gift for holiday events. Whether it’s an invite to a late-fall dinner, spur of the moment cocktails and bonfire, or when staying with family and friends on a road to somewhere. I grew up being told that you brought a small gift if someone was throwing a larger get-together, if they were accommodating you i.e you were staying the night, or just because! It doesn’t need to be fancy, or expensive, and it’s usually just the thought that counts.
Last fall all my blogging (and life) plans were kind of topsy-turvy, so I didn’t quite get a handle on anything in time and just barely got my house tour out in time. This year though, I’m ready. I’m making pickled fall vegetables in vinyl decorated jars, using everything that’s fresh and in-season at the local farmers market.
In the past I’ve done small grab bags of cookies or jam, but this year I wanted something a little more colourful, something that would remind us of the last days of summer when we’re savouring them as the temperature drops.
I’ve opted to do green beans, carrots, radishes, beets, field cucumber, red onion, and a medley.
Materials for pickling
- Glass jars – available everywhere from the hardware store to the thrift store. Prices may vary
- Lids, for said jars
- green beans, carrots, radishes, beets, field cucumber & red onion – all should be fresh and still have a snap to them.
- White vinegar
- Two bunches of fresh dill
- Star of annis, whole allspice, pickling spice mix (available at local bulk barn – otherwise you can google a mix!)
- Per 4 large jars: 2 cups of vinegar, 2 cups of water, 2 tbsp of kosher salt, 5 tbsp of sugar
Step 1: Trim all the vegetables after giving them a thorough wash.
Step 2 : Put dill and pickling spice mix seed into each jar and then pack or layer the vegetables into the jar, adding more pickling spice as needed.
Step 3: Bring water, vinegar, salt, sugar to a boil. Reduce to simmer for 3 minutes
Step 4: Pour brine into each jar, leaving 1cm at the top of the jar.
Step 5: Let cool on the counter before closing with lids and refrigerating or placing in cool cellar. These are best enjoyed after 12hrs, but get better with a few extra days.
** This recipe lasts up to 3 weeks – so start giving ’em away like hot cakes!
Now, since I got my Cricut I’ve kinda gone crazy with all the things I can do. I mean, the fact that I can cut my own images is pretty damn amazing, and super useful for me. After partnering with Expressions Vinyl on my –> Vinyl Otomi Chargers <– for the last 12 months of DIY, I knew I wanted to use their vinyl again since it was so easy to work with.
Materials for jar labels
- Permanent Vinyl sheets in gold & black from Expressions Vinyl
- Cricut Explore Air
- Transfer tape
- Weeding tools
Step 1: Lay-out your design, wording, and details in a photoshop document.
For the lid I’m using the Thystle Leaf font and a simple circle vector.
For the glass jars I’m using leaf vectors I found online.
You can get all the lids and the leaves for free –> here <–
Step 2: Save the images as a JPEG, and then upload them to the Cricut Design Space. Y
Proceed through the steps to create “cut images”.
Step 3: For the lid, cut the wording in gold, and the circle in black. I chose to cut the leaves in gold because it’s a complimentary colour to all the vegetables I’ve pickled.
Step 4: Apply the gold leaves to the jars. I used varying sizes and haphazardly applied them around the outside of the jar. I wanted to leave space for the vegetables to be seen through the jar.
Step 5: Apply the vinyl to the lids using transfer tape to ensure a smooth transition.
For the lid, I applied the black circle first, and then the gold circle on top. I chose to weed-out the wording so that the circle would superimpose itself on the black circle, and black lettering would shine through the gold.
You could add a bow, or toss them in a gift basket or bag, but I’ll probably be pulling these bad boys from my overnight bag as I visit my friends. You could, of course, host a lovely cocktail hour and offer your friends some pickled veg to go with their cocktails.