Tuesday, July 24, 2012

spicy fridge pickled okra

First, I must begin by saying:  I love okra.  I know there are some out there who do not, but I am not among them.  I am an okra fan.  I see those slender, green pods and I wax nostalgic.

There wasn't a Summer that went by when we were growing up, that we didn't spend some good time visiting my grandparents in the country. My sister and I were lucky enough to have both sets of grandparents around and influencing us throughout our early lives.  Some of my fondest memories are of times spent driving or riding the tractor in those pastures, playing "shoe" salesperson in my Granny's closet, fishing out of the tank or "feeding the catfish" with Papa, painting canvases on my Grandma's back porch, or helping Grandpa tend to the garden.  We always gathered, everyone together, for big feasts, and there was ALWAYS a "relish" tray.  From homemade pickles of many varieties, to black olives from a can (perfect for sticking on the end of your fingers prior to sticking in your mouth), and always ...pickled okra.

I can't think of anything easier than making a batch of refrigerator pickles -- I make them regularly.  And now, I know it's true for okra too.  Next time, I'm thinking pickled green beans will be "what's in the jar"...

I had just enough okra left over from my Farmhouse bushel this week (crispy okra raita with the rest of it), to pickle a big, quart sized jar. 

spicy fridge pickled okra
fresh okra, washed and trimmed (enough to fill a large quart sized jar)
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup distilled water
2 T kosher salt
1 T sugar
1 fresh fresno chili, sliced in half lengthwise
1/2 vidalia onion, sliced in half rounds
1 carrot, cleaned and cut in chunks
two cloves garlic, sliced
1 t dill seed
1/4 t brown mustard seed
1/4 t fennel seed
1/4 t corriander seed
5 whole peppercorn

Bring vinegar, water, salt and sugar to boil in a saucepan until it all dissolves.  Place garlic, dill seed, mustard seed, fennel seed, corriander seed and peppercorns in a well cleaned quart jar.  Stand your okra and fresno chili in the jar, and pack it in firmly.  I added in 1/2 vadalia onion and carrot chunks in order to fill my jar completely, with all the veggies fitting snugly in place.  Once your jar is filled, pour the hot brine mixture over the vegetables and close the lid.  If you are using a screw cap, don't screw on too tightly.  Allow to cool on counter before placing in fridge.  Okra will be ready to eat in about 2 weeks.  And that seems to be the only thing difficult about this process.

Has it been 2 weeks yet?

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