Monday, March 23, 2009

Pickling Puzzle

A friend of mine Tweeted last night about why fried pickles exist. I wrote her that I have many many recipes for those, as well as multiple other pickled foods. Who doesn't, right?

While readers here know I love the Southern Heritage Southern Living set more than any vintage other, there are a few volumes that are a bit odd. One is Gift Receipts. In here are many recipes for things you could make to give. I don't know anyone who would want to receive some of these. Here is a photo from Ball co. in the book, about Canning. Seriously, if this woman has canned this much, she has a lot of issues to sort out! Do you think her family begged her to make meals that didn't come from a jar?

I should talk, however, as I recently finished a many days straight run to McDonalds for Shamrock Shakes. What is it about those that are so addictive? I should mention here that during my physical last week my cholesterol came up a tiny bit over the recommended. Who is surprised? I'm already back to walking...

Here is a great recipe from Gift Receipts:
Green Tomato Pickles
1 gallon (oh boy. Anything that starts with one gallon can't be good.) thinly sliced, unpeeled green tomatoes
1 quart thinly sliced onion
1/3 cup salt
1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
1 tablespoon whole allspice
1 tsp. celery seeds
1/2 tsp. red pepper
1 lemon, thinly sliced
3 cups white vinegar
3 cups firmly packed brown sugar
My stomach is turning already.
Combine tomatoes and onion in a large glass, ceramic, or stainless steel container; sprinkle with salt. Cover and let stand in a cool place overnight. Rinse tomatoes and onion several times in cold water; drain. Set aside.
Combine peppercorns, mustard seeds, allspice, celery seeds, red pepper, and lemon slices; tie loosely in a cheese-cloth bag. Combine spice bag, vinegar and sugar in a stainless steel stockpot; bring to a boil. (open all your windows). Add reserved tomatoes and onion. Return to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes, stirring gently several times. Remove spice bag, and discard.
Pack tomatoes into hot sterilized jars; cover with syrup, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. (how?) Cover with metal lids, and screw bands tight. Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Yield 4 pints.
This is the gift that keeps on giving, I'm sure.
Happy Monday.

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