Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Sweet Hots & Dills.. A Day of Pickling

Yesterday we embarked on our first adventure into pickling. Exciting stuff. Actually, for any history buff the evolution of food preservation is truly an interesting subject.

Pickling has ancient roots dating back to the early Mesopotamians and has had many interesting twists and turns along its historical path. From feeding Napolean Bonaparte’s armies in 18th century France to the more recent 57 varieties of pickles and preserves from the Heinz family, pickling has come a long way. Now we’re giving it a go. Making Sweet Hot pickles with Guajillo chiles and the classic garlic and dill variety pickle. So far they look and smell pretty delish!

Once we set out on this little project I was reminded of the humid Summers along the Intracoastal waterway in South Carolina, and a neighborhood girl whose fingers were forever stained from her endless consumption of this pickled vegetable. I couldn’t help but think of her and chuckle. If she only knew the boys from down the street would one day be making her favorite snack by the gallons I think she would die.

"On a hot day in Virginia, I know nothing more comforting than a fine spiced pickle, brought up trout-like from the sparkling depths of the aromatic jar below the stairs of Aunt Sally's cellar." Thomas Jefferson

I will return in 48 hours with the tasting results from our first round of pickles.

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