Sunday, July 15, 2012

Food: Mixed Pickles the Mountain Way - Recipe and Tutorial

Oh, I've got a good one for you. I bet this is one you won't easily be able to find with a Google search (until now). Old Fashioned Mixed Pickles! Now I'll admit that I am not a fan, but most of my family love these. Seriously LOVE them.
Cooked Mixed Pickles!
So, who wants to know how to make them? 'Cause I'm about to school you in the ways of down home mountain cooking. 

{Mom's been making this for at least 50 years so I am pretty sure it won't}

First you want to get your quart jars ready. Wash them and be sure to sterilize them as well. There are several methods... you can sterilize them by running them through your dishwasher I've heard or by boiling them in a canner.  Someone even suggested heating them in the oven at 250. However, using the dishwasher would probably be the quickest and easiest. 

You will need

Fresh Green Beans
Fresh Corn on the Cob
Green Bell Peppers
Green Tomatoes (can have small amount of red)
Pickling Salt 
Distilled Vinegar (optional)

Mom says she never really measures how much of each she uses. So I can't give you the exact amounts you will need. But just a general idea. There is no correct or incorrect amount. She just gathers a good supply and mixes it together until it looks good to her. However, she did say that you will want to use more green beans and cabbage than the other ingredients. 

So, here we go! 

String and snap your fresh green beans. Put them in a pot and cook them for a few minutes until the are starting to get tender or start to change colors. You don't want them soft. Just not hard. Then drain and let them cool. 
Mom used beans she already had canned.
Clean your corn. Then cut the whole kernel corn off. Do not scrape the cob. You do not cook the corn. 
You can use store bought corn, but don't cook it.
Peel the outer leaves off your cabbages and feed them to your rabbits. Put the cabbage in the sink, rinse it off, and start cutting chunks off. You don't want to use the stalk {center piece}. Slice the cabbage into pieces small enough to go into your food processor and run it through. You don't want it real fine, but you don't want large chunks either.

Peel, slice, and chunk up your cucumbers. 
Cut your green bell peppers in half, remove seeds, and dice them up. You can use red or orange peppers if you want, but Mom only uses green. 

Cut your green tomatoes into chunks. Remove seeds. 

Now mix all your ingredients together in a large pan. 
Here is the fun part.. filling up the jars. 
Get your sterilized jars and fill them about 3/4 full of the mixture.  You can't fill them any more than this because the corn will swell and it needs room to work itself. 

Once you have your jars filled with the mixture add in one level tablespoon of pickling salt to each jar. You can not use regular salt. It has to be pickling salt (aka preserving salt). Mom said that you can add a tablespoon of distilled vinegar into the jars as well if you want, but she normally doesn't. 

Get yourself some hot water. Mom heats hers on the stove but it shouldn't be boiling.  She uses tap water, but has a well. I wouldn't advise using city water. 

Now you need to fill your jars with the hot water. Do not fill the neck of the jar. Take a knife and stick down into the mixture so that the water will go down into it. Now fill the jar with more water until the mixture is completely covered but the neck should remain empty. 

That is it. Put some lids and rings on your jars. They can be old lids and rings as you don't want it to seal. However, you don't want to use lids that have rust on them. Make sure they are clean and sterilized.

When you put the rings on the jars you do not want to tighten them down. Just screw them on enough to hold the lid on. If you tighten them down the jars will bust. The mixture needs to be able to work itself into Mixed Pickles. Meaning that some of the water needs to escape the jars.
Store your jars in a cool and very dark place. This WILL be a messy process and you wouldn't want to store it somewhere that you mind having spillage. Mom has always stored her Mixed Pickles in her basement on wood shelves that Dad built. It is underground and there are no windows. Your Mixed Pickles should be ready to eat in about 3 weeks but the longer it sits, the better it is.  

Mixed Pickles will last for a long time. So you don't have to worry about it ruining. As long as it hasn't turned black you are good to go. 

To cook Mixed Pickles all you do is open your jar, rinse them, add a little bacon grease or oil and simmer for a few minutes until hot. 

My precious Momma and I. Sorry it is blurry, my sister took this one.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the info . The jars looked more than 3/4 full. I always thought you had to use new lids. Looks delicious.