Pickle Juice Pizazz
When I was a youngling, in single digit years, Grandpa, then a young man, got hired as a schoolteacher at the edge of civilization. It suited him and Grandma, then in their twenties, to have room to roam and space to build. They were young and healthy so not having a doctor within 300 miles didn’t bother them.
Grandpa was (and still is) a good hunter and fisherman so there was always wild meat to be eaten. However, the supply chain for human produced goods was iffy. Any fresh and/or perishable products that had to transverse that supply chain was a variable not to be dependent upon and Grandma worried over not having milk for her children. As a solution she always had a winter’s supply of Milkman powdered milk on hand which was a good thing because sometimes our town would be snowed in for a month or two during the winter.
Preserved foods, like canned veggies and dried fruit that traveled well were standard fare during the single digit years of my youth and jars of pickles were precious and very valuable. On a schoolteacher’s wages pickles were expensive (and probably still are) but it wasn’t the money expenditure that made them valuable so much as the precious nutrients preserved in the vinegar, the herbs; the spices; the trace minerals.
Grandma and her lady friends saved the left-over vinegar juice after the pickles were all eaten. It didn’t matter if the liquor was from dill pickles (Grandma’s favorite) or sweet pickles (Grandpa’s favorite), it all went into the jar at the back of the fridge (I like to keep the dill liquor and sweet liquor separate, just a personal preference) to be used to ‘pickle’ stuff like garlic and eggs. In the here and now I have access to fresh raw veggies so I ‘pickle’ them every now and then as well.
Pickled Veggies Pizazz
Because raw veggies can be hard to penetrate with the pickle juice, I like to simmer the veggies in the juice prior to refrigeration. (It isn’t imperative, but it makes them softer and ready to eat quicker)
¾ cup chopped veggies- carrots, onion and/or bell pepper work well
1 cup left-over pickle juice
Simmer veggies in pickle juice in a saucepan for a few minutes. Pour into an 8 oz, Mason jar, put in the fridge for a week or two then enjoy eating them.
Pickled Garlic Pizazz
¾ cup raw peeled garlic cloves
½ to 1 cup left over pickle juice
Put the peeled garlic in an 8 oz Mason jar, pour left-over pickle juice over the garlic until the jar is full (there may be some left over pickle juice depending on how much empty space is between the garlic cloves.) Stick the jar in the fridge, wait a few weeks then eat.
Pickled Eggs Pizazz
When I was less than a teenager, Jerri, our local artist, would let her kids boil eggs then put them in left-over pickle juice. I wasn’t a fan of them then, not my favorite now, but boy did the other kids love them.
2 boiled peeled eggs
1 cup left-over pickle juice
Put the peeled eggs in an 8 oz Mason jar, pour the pickle juice over the eggs until the jar is full. Put in fridge. Wait a while to let the eggs soak up the juice then eat at your convenience.
Note: When needed, if there is nothing else, pickle juice can be a ready-made source of electrolytes.
In 2000 Michele Priddy left the work force to become a stay-at-home mother and wife. Being a one-income family in today’s society meant she had to learn to budget quickly. Food became a priority early because she wanted the children to have the best nutrition, she could offer them even on a budget. She also taught cooking classes on how to stretch the food dollar with simple ingredients at various churches in her community. Michelle has put her kitchen strategies and recipes in booklets, her church newsletter and in her hometown newspaper, The Goldendale Sentinel. We hope you will enjoy her strategies, stories, and recipes. You can contact the Leavenworth Echo at Reporter@leavenworthecho.com or 509-548-5286 if you have any questions or comments for Michelle.
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