It won’t be long now until one of my favorite summer crops has produced its last tasty pods. Okra is what I speak of, and every year I am sad to see this beautiful tall plant go. But, with cooler temperatures moving in here in Kentucky, I have been working to preserve every bit as much as possible. So, last night I spent a surprisingly short amount of time pickling this tasty treat, to be able to enjoy later this winter once its mother plants are long gone. I have heard many different recipes for canning Okra, but as a beginner to canning I have been relying on the Ball Blue Book as my go to source for recipes. My mother has always used this book as well, so I am used to that crisp, tangy taste that the Blue Book recipe offers. The recipe is quite simple, and the process time is only 15 minutes in the water bath canner.
I am looking forward to trying out a suggestion one of our gardening participants mentioned to me this summer while we were discussing different canning methods. He told me that his Grandmother would pickle Okra, and when it was cold outside would open the jars and batter and fry the Okra in the same manner you would fresh from the garden. I had heard of fried pickles before, but fried Okra pickles will be a new treat to savor.
Ball Blue Book Pickled Okra Recipe:
Yield: about 4 pints
3 1/2 pounds small okra pods
2 teaspoons dill seed
3 cups water
3 cups vinegar
4 cloves garlic
2 small hot red peppers cut in half
Trim stems off okra, being careful not to cut pods; set aside. Combine salt, dill seed, water and vinegar in a large saucepot. Bring to a boil. Pack Okra into hot jars (refers to hot jars that have been sterilized by boiling for two minutes), leaving ¼-inch head space. Put one clove garlic and one-half pepper in each jar. Ladle hot liquid over okra, leaving ¼-inch head space. Remove air bubbles. Adjust two-piece caps. Process 15 minutes in a boiling-water canner.
Note: When cutting or seeding hot peppers, wear rubber gloves to prevent hands form being burned.