Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Slimy, Spicy Stalks of Goodness

Sitting in the "cool, dry place" that is the corner of my little underground kitchen for the next two weeks are three freshly packed jars of spicy, garlicy, vinegary, crunchy-slimy spears of good eats called pickled okra.

No one is ambivalent about okra; you'd either murder nuns and orphans for the stuff or you place it in the same category as boils on your ass or maybe Hitler. As for me?... "take that, Sister Mary."

I never made the stuff before, but sure have eaten a ton. So with the garden still producing a bumper crop, I decided to try it. I scoured the net and found what looked like a recipe I would like, with lots of spice, vinegar and chile.

What I did not count on was that you had to have laboratory sterile conditions to make the stuff. I know grandma never used clean sterile towels, fresh laundered and not used for other purposes, hand sanitizer, sterilized tongs, rubber gloves and new, never used jars. She probably boiled the jars, but that was about it. I used most of the above, but the towels were not fresh from the drier and the rubber gloves were no where in sight, so I hope I am making a delicacy, not botulism.

It said if you follow the instructions to the T, you can safely can foods for long periods without fear of bacteria or contamination. I don't think I can wait that long. The minimum for sufficient pickling was two weeks and I am sure I will not resist temptation to try my creation.

But damn it, the three jars are already bothering me. I can hear the one lone bacterium spreading its doom, multiplying with no help from any of its friends..taking over..

Ah, fear not. There is enough garlic, vinegar, mustard seed and chile in the concoction to kill anything. At least I hope. If this is my last post, you will know the outcome.

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