Cooking With G…by Janie Goldman

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Posted by Joyce Rhyne on 16 Jul 15 - 0 Comments

Greetings fellow culinary enthusiasts!  I find that during the hot summer months it is more enjoyable to serve small assortments of food as opposed to large meals.  For example, tonight my husband had fresh fruit and sliced sausage for dinner.  Searching for something else on the lighter side, I revisited the appetizer section of the Port O’Connor Community Service Club cookbook that was published nearly twenty years ago. The appetizer section of the cookbook includes many recipes for preserves, relishes and pickles.

Much of my culinary education came at a young age from my Grandma Ima.  I stood atop a dining room chair overlooking the stove top and watched her prepare many home cooked meals.  When it came time for “canning” the low key humming of her food preparation changed.  Her kitchen would be filled with large pots, racks, assorted glass jars and strange utensils.   As adult family members joined her in the kitchen, I was soon pushed out of the experience.  As an adult I always assumed that “canning” was way too complicated so I accepted  the fact that I would pay six dollars for a delicious jar of pickled okra at the grocery store.

It wasn’t until I saw the recipe for okra pickles in the Service Club cookbook that I thought, “This is something I could really do.”

OKRA PICKLES

This recipe was submitted by Leafy Ann (Johnson) Mang.  Leafy writes that you should have 3.5 pounds of small okra pods, 2 cups of vinegar, 4 cups of water, 2 teaspoons of dill seed, 1/3 cup salt, garlic cloves and hot peppers.

You should wash and pack okra in jars.  Put a clove and a hot pepper in each jar.

Make a brine of water, vinegar, dill seed and salt.  Bring to a boil and pout over okra in each jar.

So this is what I did….I sterilized 8 (8 oz.) jars and the lids in boiling water.   Then I placed in each jar a clove of garlic, a hot pepper and a sprig of dill.  I used 8 oz. jars because that is what I had, and used dill weed instead of dill seed because it looks nice in a jar.

I packed the jars with okra I had soaked overnight in ice water (I heard it makes them less mushy).  Made the brine of water, vinegar and salt and brought to a boil.  Then I covered the jarred okra with the brine and secured each with the lid.

The next step is to seal the jars or you can just put them in the refrigerator.  To seal the jars for pantry storage, put them in a pot and cover the jars slightly above the lid.  Bring to a boil until you see or hear the indention invert.  If you are not sure, you can check by seeing if the lid moves when you apply pressure.  The ones that don’t move are safe for shelf life and others should go in the refrigerator.

Everything else I know about pickling I learned from the internet.  Apparently you should let them set for 1 week to 1 month before eating.  Your guess is as good as mine.  And storage or shelf life is up for debate.  Use a sticker to mark your pickled okra with a date.  I don’t know when it goes bad….I guess you have to trust your senses… my Grandma is not around anymore for me to ask.
Thanks to Leafy for her okra pickle recipe.  I will find out in a week if I did it right.

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