At Rudy’s Happy Patch Market, we’ve focused on stocking not only seasonal produce, but year-round offerings, such as home-grown, juicy tomatoes. Now we are adding pickled okra to the list.
Staff member Mulkey McMichael closely guards the secret to the pickling recipe that is used at the market. “This is my mother’s recipe that I use each Christmas,” he notes. “It has become my universal gift to my church choir and members of Buena Vista United Methodist Church.”
Mulkey acknowledges that most pickling fluids consist of some combination of vinegar, salt, alum, and water. Pickling can be a time-consuming process, but this particular recipe is simple and requires little time. Each batch of the pickling recipe calls for two pounds of okra per case of pint jars. The only real canning preparation involved is the warming of the pickling jars in hot water. After the jars are tightly sealed in the pickling liquid, the must remain sealed for at least three months for best flavor. Two other tips: select the smallest pod okra for pickling and serve the pickles cold.
When the first jars went on display at the market, 24 jars were sold initially, and the uniquely flavored pickles are proving to be a popular item. They are priced at $5 per pint, or $13 for three pints. A case of 12 jars is sold for $48.
In the photo above, Laurie Hildreth, left, and Laura McCain attach product labels along with gift tags to completed jars of pickled okra.