Marieke's Pickled Veggies

Author: Justin
Serves 120

1 1/2 gallons cider vinegar 1 1/2 gallons water
1 1/2 cups salt 1 bunch of fresh dill weed
zillions of peppercorns (about a cup) some cubebs, if you have them
20 lbs onions, preferably medium-sized 10 lbs mushrooms

One week in advance:
Boil the vinegar, water, salt, dill, and spices together for a few minutes.  Turn off heat.  Peel onions, and put into the warm brine.  Cover, and put aside for the next few days.  (Be warned: it will smell strongly of vinegar and dill.)

Two days in advance:
Clean and trim the mushrooms, and add to the brine.

Day of:
Remove from brine, and serve.  Refrigeration is generally not necessary; no sane bug would try to grow in this.

Notes and Variations

We originally came across this recipe at the Freehold Yule Feast in 1986 (aka the Crown Tourney of Siegfried III and Wanda III); it was prepared by Countess Marieke, and Justin decided it was simply divine.  We wrote to Marieke, who kindly sent us this recipe.
Marieke's original recipe was for general veggies, and called for a long soak (two weeks) at a cool temperature (about 45-50 degrees).  Justin has gradually decided that he likes it best for onions and mushrooms.  The mushrooms soak relatively briefly, because their flavor is delicate and easily overpowered; in this strong brine, two days is enough to impart some oomph, while still tasting like mushrooms.
Obviously, this recipe can and should be scaled to suit.  Marieke's original actually just specified the proportions, not the quantities.  These proportions come from Justin's preparation for the Winter's Revel at the Inns of Court (January 1998), and are enough for 2-3 mushrooms and a good large chunk of onion per person.
The onions shouldn't be excessively large; for the Winter's Revel, Justin used large (~ 1 lb) onions, and they did not soak sufficiently through.  Half that size or less is probably more appropriate.
Jane likes mushrooms better than onions, as did many of the attendees at the Winter's Edge event (November 2002), for which she should have used 15 lbs of each, or 10/20.


Traditional (that is, not documentable), but plausibly periodish.