I like to make this hot mix, for it has a lot of zing for folks who crave hot foods, along with some sweetness. You can vary the ingredients from no hot peppers whatever to what is listed below. The idea is that without the hot peppers you have a fine, milder version of a Giardiniera. The small amount of food grade calcium chloride helps to make the mix ingredients crisp, especially the cucumbers/pickles.
Have fun …
Prepare the vegetables as indicated above.
Put the vinegar in a 2½ gallon non-stick surface pot.
Add the following ingredients:
Stir well and bring the mixture to a boil on high heat.
Toss in the prepared vegetables and mix everything gently and bring the pot contents temperature up to 180ºF on low to medium heat, stirring and mixing gently every three minutes. Cover the pot with a lid to shorten the heating time, but use a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature every few minutes after you stir the contents.
Pasteurize at 180ºF for 30 minutes, stirring gently every five minutes. Use the candy thermometer to monitor the temperature and adjust the heat level as necessary to maintain the 180ºF temperature.
Remove the hot mix from the heat, cover the pot with a lid and let it cool to room temperature.
Chill the pot, lid and contents overnight in the refrigerator.
Separate the vegetables into bowls then pack one pint vacuum sealing bags with equal ratios of the vegetables and 1/2 cup of brine.
Vacuum seal the veggies and brine.
Keep the vacuum sealed hot mix bags refrigerated.
Eat the hot mix any time after allowing two weeks for the flavors to mix and penetrate the vegetables.
If any bags swell up during storage, discard them.
Eat all of the hot mix within six to nine months for maximum quality.
Enjoy the hot mix served cold with various other foods like cheese and crackers.