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Pickle me Pink! (plus one of my favorite recipes)

The definition of pickled is, "preserved:preserved in vinegar, brine or another liquid." But it is actually a lot more complicated than that! I find pickling an extremely satisfying and beautiful food craft.  Not only is it a way to stretch your fresh garden veggies into the winter months, but the pickling jars are a gorgeous thing to have in your kitchen, layers of color and flavor--what could be better!

There are all sorts of tiny cottage businesses that have sprung up around the pickle thing, McClure's in Detroit (home of famed Vlasic pickle) which you can only buy by the case.  Sechler's has 39 varieties of Pickle, as well as a pickled "apple cinnamon chunk" --yum! Pickling is an ancient craft that is believed to have been used by the Mesopotamians all the way back in 2400 BC.  Queen Elizabeth had a fondness for pickles, as well as the great Thomas Jefferson, and Shakespeare makes mention of the pickle throughout his plays.  Pickling really got going here in the States around 1606, when Virginia began to produce and sell a commercial brand of pickle.

People can pickle the strangest things, although I tend to believe recipes trickle down through families and into their culinary repertoire without a thought--these recipes are a heritage, and, really who can argue with someone who is OK with eating Pickled Pigs Lips??  Pigs Feet are also common pickled items, as well as Eggs and Cabbage. The Smithsonian actually has a pickled Mammoth! The pictures are less than delectable, so I will spare you and instead show you a product of particular interest: Pickled Walnuts!

The 2012 Good Food Awards include in their Pickle Winners,  Cuisine en Locale's  for their  Pickled peaches, and Farmhouse Culture for their Smoked Jalapeno Sauerkraut. A recent article in the New York Times hailed this Kimchi ( a traditional spicey pickled cabbage from Korea) as the best. And what son-in-law would dare to argue?


I am also, an avid pickler, and have included a recipe below that will certainly delight an pickler's heart!

From my Aunt Bella 

6-8 Cubanelle Peppers sliced into thin long strips.
2 cups of water
2 cups of white vinegar
2 cups of sugar
6 cloves of garlic
4-6 hot peppers (could be dried)
Place the sliced peppers in an air tight jar.  I use this type.  Mix all the ingredients and pour on the peppers.  Top with a dash of olive oil.  Seal and place on a window ledge or any place with some sunlight.  After 2 days, move to refrigerator. 

Really great with sandwiches, as a side with chicken or just out of the jar.

Enjoy and thank you Aunt Bella!

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