Recently I was given a copy of the Farm to Fork cookbook by Emeril Lagasse. This book is especially dear to me because it came to me at a time when I'm doing just that, buying from local farmers to put on our table, some by way of my pantry.
It's been a goal of mine to feed our family healthy unprocessed food. If any processing is going to happen, I'm going to be the one processing it using only natural ingredients. It just makes sense to me. Besides, I enjoy it!
My only experience with okra was frozen in a package of mixed vegetables and I didn't like it, not at all! But my Husband loves it so I made it my mission in life to give him something he loves. Lots of it too!
Fifteen pounds of okra doesn't seem like much, does it? Let me tell you, that's very misleading. Okra are tiny finger length vegetables that are very lightweight. So, 15 lbs of okra was a HUGE amount in my kitchen! To my surprise I found that fresh okra is delicious! I love it when I bite into a fresh veggie and get a nice crunch!
|One Hour Chilled Okra|
Before you pack the okra, remove them from the ice water and pat them dry. (I was lucky that my Husband did this for me while watching a football game.)
Divide the okra among four or five sterilized pint canning jars, inserting the okra cap side down. Here is where his literal meaning didn't work with my pint jars. This left way too much headroom and used too many pint size jars. After following this for the first batch I changed it up for the remaining batches. I put the cap side down and then tucked the okra into the jar any way I could get it in there making better use of the jars. Divide the peppers, garlic cloves and mustard seeds evenly among the jars of okra. I placed my jars into a baking pan of hot water for at least 10 minutes before the next step. Cover with the hot pickling liquid by at least 1/4 inch, leaving at least 1/2 inch of headspace. Make sure there are no air bubbles in the jars, wipe the rims clean and attach the lids and rings. Process the jars in a water bath for 10 minutes.
Remove the jars from the hot water and let them cool. The jars should seal as they cool. Store the jars in a cool, dark place for up to one year. (Any jars that do not vacuum seal properly should be refrigerated and the pickles consumed within two weeks.) Allow the pickles to mature for at least 4 weeks before consuming.
***Update! It's been four weeks and we've eaten these okra and I like them! Don't tell anyone that but I like them! You can taste every ingredient in this recipe and you'll see my new recommendations next to the original ingredients for how I will modify this next time I put up okra. I will also add 2 cups of water to the vinegar for my next batch and see how that affects the recipe. You can be sure I'll post my results when I do.
|Hot Pickled Okra|
*Please note that after pickling okra there was still 9 lbs of fresh okra left. Stay tuned for more about okra!