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Social Pickle’s Quick Guide to Pickling

Prep time
10 mins
Cooking time
5 mins
Makes one litre
Social Pickle’s Quick Guide to Pickling

We Social Pickles love foraging, but what to do with all the beautiful things you’ve picked?

Pickling is a great way to preserve things you have foraged from around the city. It’s like a delicious time capsule. When we open a jar we made earlier in the year, it’s not only a tasty and fun addition to a meal in less sunny times – it comes with the memories of when it was picked.

Here’s a basic pickling liquor recipe that you can use to pickle most fruits or vegetables. We’ve given some suggestions for different plants and flowers you can pickle. Some might sound odd but they do really work, especially when they’re at the bud stage.

Fun flowery things that can be pickled:

  • Magnolia petals (These taste quite a lot like ginger. They’re also nice in their raw state.)
  • Wild garlic buds or flowers
  • Elderflower buds or flowers
  • Currant blossom
  • Linden flowers
  • Rose petals
  • Cherry blossom
  • Fennel flowers

Not all flowers are edible. If there are some you want to try that we haven’t listed here, make sure you look them up first. If you’re in any doubt at all about identification, don’t eat them.

A great resource for wild plants is this guide from Wild Food UK. It doesn’t have loads of flowers listed on it, but it’s very useful for foraging nonetheless.

This liquor should cover about 500g of whatever you’re pickling. A good thing to do is to pack your to-be pickles in the sterilized vessel you’ll be keeping them in, then fill it up with water, tip it out and measure the water.

The ratio is roughly 50:50 water to vinegar, with a little extra space for sugar, salt and spices. You can adapt the amounts above to suit whatever size vessel or amount of pickles you want to make.

Using a sterilised jar is key. Here's how to sterilise.


  • 250g water
  • 250g apple cider vinegar
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 5g salt
  • 5g whatever pickling spices you want (e.g. coriander seeds, cloves and mustard seeds. You don’t have to use these, but it can add an interesting dimension.)
  1. Clean and prepare your would-be-pickles. Chop them up into relatively uniform shapes if they’re big and need chopping. For example, cucumber, courgettes or carrots. Don’t cut them too small though, or they will go soggy. Put them in the sterilized jar.

  2. Put your pickle brine ingredients into a pan and bring it to the boil.

  3. Let the pickling liquor cool, then pour over your veggies/fruits/flowers.

  4. Put the lid on and keep in the fridge for about a week. Your pickles will then be ready to enjoy!

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