Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Peck of Pickled Peppers

On Sunday my mom and my sister-in-law got together to make their pickles. And then they sent me some pictures. So, I thought I'd make them the guest bloggers today....only neither of them want to write up a post.

I thought I'd share anyway. I have never made pickles or relish, but my mom and sister-in-law do. I'm just lucky enough to reap the rewards. I have two jars of these pickles in my pantray.

I like relish trays....the kind our old relatives had on their Thanksgiving table...full of different kinds of olives and celery and carrot sticks, spicy apple slices, and, if you were from an Italian background as my husband, pepperoni and peppers on the relish tray. But the thing I liked best were the homemade pickles. Pickles that were not store bought....pickles that were made in your grandma's kitchen. They were crunchy and good and fresh tasting.
I'm going to go open a jar of pickles right now!

I've always thought of the Mid-West when I think of pickles, but really pickling dates back to ancient Mesopotami. Pickling is a custom of nearly every world culture. As generations from different heritages headed to America, they brought traditional recipes from their homeland, engraining the pickle in the U.S.’s food traditions. Even in today’s age of year-round fresh produce availability when preservation techniques are no longer a necessity—pickles still entice. ( from Specialty Food)

I didn't know, but New Yorkers take their pickles very seriously, says this article. That only real New Yorkers know what a "sour pickle" is.
Sour pickles (the longer a pickle is fermented, the more “sour it becomes; half sour pickles are cured quickly in a low-salt brine) are the overall best seller in the region. “Outside of New York, people don’t know sour pickles, says Owner of Guss's Pickles, Tim Baker. “True pickle lovers in other states look for half sour.

Half sour?  Now, I'm going to be craving a "real" sour pickle.  I won't rest until I can find one!   I love regional foods.  FULL sour for me...whatever that might be.

The Mid-west? Sweet or candied pickles reign! There is even a "Pickle Bar" at the Miles Farmers Market in Solon, Ohio. Started about three years ago, the bar takes in between $3,000 and $4,000 per week
Wow! Could a pickle bar make it here? In Winnemucca, Nevda? We just opened our first Wine Bar.....a Pickle Bar must not be far behind.

These pickles, that my mom makes have a "bite' to them, as they are packed with a jalapeno pepper. Which is funny, because my mom and sil have been making them this way for a few years, but I understand that Pickles are getting hotter—literally. A Southwestern influence is injecting heat into the brine or producing pickles mixed with hot peppers.

Who knew? My family--on the cutting edge!

Please...bear with me. I was trying to get the recipe out of my mom and she kept wanting to know why I'd want to make them...since I don't even have a canner for heaven's sake!
so....consider this recipe "family style".

These are the ones from my pantry
taken with my new camera.

Pickles with a Bite!
(and they really do, but they are really good.  Hot and Sweet)

pickling cucumbers
jalapeno peppers

Take 1 cup of sugar and 2 cups of vinegar and 2 t salt and boil this until the sugar dissolves.

Take 2 quart jars (sterilized) and pack them with the cucumbers, 1 jalapeno pepper, 1 large clove or 2 small cloves of garlic and a sprig of dill.

Pour the marinade over the top and seal the jars.

Then boil the jars for 7 minutes at a hard boil in your "canner".

Once sealed, let the jars set for 30 days before opening and eating.
You can make as little as 2 quarts or as many as 20 quarts---just do the math and adjust your ingrediants.

Pictures my mom sent me
from their pickle makng day.

By the way......
I am thinking of doing a "Mr. Linky" type of thing for the
"Twelve Weeks of  Christmas Cookies".
Just thinking right now... but am the Holiday Season too busy for most of us, or do you think I'd get a good turn out?
It's just going thru my brain, so wondering if anyone had any advice?


bermudaonion said...

In my part of the country they sell pickles with a bite as Wickles and they are yummy! I love relish trays and always make one at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

MM said...

Please don't make me think about Christmas yet! I think you'd get some takers. There were a lot of cookie themed blog posts last year.

I'm toying with the idea of making pickled okra (my dad gave me a lot). But the thought of all that sterilizing, etc scares me.

Karen said...

I've wanted to make pickles. I suppose I ought to. Lord knows I'm not doing anything else LOL. I'll have to get some cukes from the Farmers Market this weekend and I have jalapenos in the garden, so I'm all set. Are you talking about everybody making a batch of cookies each week for 12 weeks? I'd do a few weeks, but I'm sure I wouldn't make Mr. Linky for 12 weeks straight. :)

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