Sunday, March 27, 2011

Hunger is the Best Pickle

Snooki is NOT the Best Pickle!
Benjamin Franklin is attributed with this quote, and there is something magical about the hunger and yearning that precedes a great meal. Based on our last post, the most frequent question we received was, “When are you inviting us over for dinner?” A fair question. The second most frequently asked question was, “How do you pickle okra?”

The process of pickling (also known as brining or corning) began as a way to preserve food for out of season use and for long journeys (such as your last family vacation in the car). One of the distinguishing characteristics of pickling is that it results in a pH less than 4.6, which is sufficient to kill most bacteria. In short, out of all the recipes we’ve ever posted, you are least likely to poison someone by feeding them homemade pickles!

Pickled okra is a distinctly Southern treat, and that’s why we featured it in our “Walking Gumbo.” This recipe originally came from Mrs. Elsie Holliday (we’ve tweaked it a bit), an upstanding citizen of North Carolina. It was passed along to us through Mr. Randy Pierce, and it is guaranteed to make your tongue slap both sides of your mouth.

Pickled Okra

3 lbs okra
5 cloves garlic (1 per jar or use 1 tsp of minced per jar)
5 fresh red hot peppers (1 or 2 per jar or 1 tsp of crushed red pepper per jar)
1 qt water
1 pt 5% apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup salt
2 tsp dill seed
1 tsp mustard seed
Trim rough stems from top of okra. Soak in ice cold water for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, sterilize five canning jars. Place 1 clove of garlic and one hot pepper in each jar. Bring water, apple cider vinegar, salt, dill and mustard to a boil in a large pot on the stove.
Cut a slice in each piece of okra ( to help absorb liquid). Pack okra in the jars. Pour boiling liquid into the jars leaving ¼ head space (the bottom ring on the jar mouth). Add lids and rings to jars. Process jars in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

1 comment:

victoria wesseler said...

Best served in place of an olive in a very cold, shaken not stirred, martini.