We have a very big garden, and sometimes using all the garden harvest can be a challenge. We freeze, we preserve in Mason or Ball canning jars, we dehydrate, and of course we do eat fresh vegetables from the garden as well. But one can only eat just so many fresh tomatoes, peas, corn, and beans before the vegetables expire.
So far this year we've had a bounty of squash, tomatoes, corn, beans, peas, Lima beans, cucumbers, zucchini, and peppers. It is the first of July and we've put up quarts and pints of salsa, tomatoes, and peppers. We've frozen enough squash to make squash casserole throughout winter and early spring, and we got the last of the corn put up this week.
I have frozen zucchini shredded and frozen for making bread and muffins, and I've put up watermelon rind pickles and chow chow (also referred to by some as piccalilli). We love chow chow on peas and beans. I'm thinking of making next some zucchini relish as well as some green tomato relish.
When people think of pickling recipes, they immediately think of cucumbers, but there are so many other veggies that can be pickled. One recipe I remember fondly was the pickled corn my grandmother used to make.
She lived in Tennessee, and there was a lot of Appalachian influence in that area. My grandmother died some years back, and try as I might I could not seem to lay my hands on the exact recipe she used.
I did some investigating, talked to aunts, cousins, my mother, and did other research online. One of my cousins was the one who remembered it the most because she grew up in Tennessee and often helped my grandmother with the canning and pickling chores. I grew up in Alabama and only went for occasional visits.
I put together the pickled corn recipe based on all my research, and when I asked my cousin about it she said that was exactly how she remembered it. Pickled corn can be made in jars or in a crock. The corn actually ferments in the jar or crock from the mixture of pickling salt and water.
Some say it is an acquired taste, but I've always loved it. It is one of my favorite pickling recipes and it can use more vegetables besides just corn. Many refer to it as "mixed pickle" and it can contain green beans, cabbage, peppers, and even okra.
I have several jars that are finishing their fermentation under my sink in the cool darkness. Once the pickling process is complete, I will clean the jar rims, sterilize the lids, reseal the jars, and process in the canner according to recipe.
As long as the harvest holds out, I'll be in the kitchen working to keep our vegetables preserved so we can eat our hard earned harvest throughout the winter and early spring months.
Laura Brown is an avid gardener, cook, winemaker, and home brewer. If you're interested in pickling recipes, pickled corn in particular, browse on over to see how it's made. Check out some other tasty and tempting recipes while you're there: http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/zigpop and as always... happy gardening!
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