Friday, October 24, 2008
I did manage to put up some food from my garden this summer and pickled okra is one of my favorite treats and very easy to make. I know it's not a food staple, like canned tomatoes, but it's still nice to have on hand. In fact, when two of my friends came out for a visit this past weekend, I was happy to be able to include some in a little hors d'oeuvre plate we had to snack on while lunch was cooking. Anyway, some of you in Aussie land might not be familiar with okra, I don't know. Then again, you may know all about it. It is a staple here in the South, though I believe in comes from Africa, and I suppose we prepare it about every way possible. I received this recipe for a pickled version from an old plumber I worked with many years ago at one of the hospitals we built. He was a very nice gentleman and I heard also that he could make some wonderful moonshine but, unfortunately, I never got to sample that. In fact, I get a lot of great recipes from the guys at work. Most people are surprised to think that a bunch of rough ol' construction workers would be able to cook anything edible but many of them are really fine cooks. I mean, it's not stuff you would find at some 5-star restaurant but it is good food. One particularly gruff, cranky old rodbuster I know, and just love to pieces, can make some of the best cakes you have ever put in your mouth.
But anyway, here is the recipe:
Liquid mixture for 5 pints: 4 cups of vinegar. 2 cups of water. 1/2 cup pickling salt.
Place 1/2 tsp. dill seed and 1 tsp. mustard seed in the bottom of each sterilized pint jars. I also place one or two cloves of garlic and one hot pepper in each jar but you can leave out the hot peppers if you like or add more! Pack washed okra fairly tightly into jars but don't pack so hard as to bruise. I alternate placing the pods in upside down to better utilize space also. Bring liquid mixture to boil and pour over okra, allowing about 1/4" head space. Seal jars immediately and let stand for at least 2 weeks. I think pickled okra is best served chilled. This recipe is very simple and the pickles come out very crisp but not too salty.
I have also been trying to update my blog list over there on the side. If your blog is not there yet please know I'm still working on it! That kind of thing takes me a while. If you have not checked them out yet you should really go see Molly's blog, Crossroads, although have you renamed it, Molly? Anyway, she's from Down Under and writes some wonderful self sufficiency posts and just general, living a real, satisfying life kinda stuff. She's much more eloquent than I am.
Also, check out Eighth of an Acre Bounty. Now, Maya can cook! This woman writes about food I would never know how to prepare and it sounds so wonderful. She also has some great posts on living a simpler, more satisfying life and her posts about their chickens are great too! She and her man grow all sorts of food on a tiny little plot in the northwest I believe.
I'll be working on the pantry and various things around the house tomorrow so maybe I'll have something to post about. I also had an unexpected visitor today that I was very happy to see. One of my buddies from work came by so I'll tell ya'll a little about that later. Not that it was all that exciting but he did have a little job gossip.