Tag Archives: pickled okra

Weddings, Honey Bees, and Pumpkins, Oh My!

Good morning!  I hope everyone got their taxes filed on time and no one is running around like a chicken with their head cut off this morning. :)

Per usual, I’m posting my weekend recap a day late because we didn’t get home until late Sunday night.  It was a jam-packed weekend, but there were some relaxing times, too.

Friday when we picked up our CSA box at Harvest Moon, I also picked up some fresh okra to restock the pantry with my spicy pickled okra.  I went to the grocery store Saturday morning and  grabbed some jalapeño peppers and got to work.  The secret to non-slimy pickled okra is soaking the fresh okra in ice water for at least an hour before pickling!

I also had another little project going on Saturday, but that’s a subject of another post!  Saturday evening we celebrate the nuptials of our sweet friend Rebecca and her handsome groom, Chase!  The wedding was gorgeous, as was the stunning bride. :)

I especially loved the table full of macarons!

Not sure where they got them from around here, but they were delicious!  And have fully reinspired me to get the hang of making them.  I tried a couple of times, back before I was blogging, with the French method, and they were not quite successful.  I will be trying them again (when I get some free time) and will be using the Italian meringue method instead.  That’s neither here nor there, but I just thought you should know.  Don’t be surprised when they show up on O&P!

We had a blast, and wish Rebecca and Chase all the love and happiness in the world!

Sunday Wheat went turkey hunting again and I had a leisurely morning of coffee and watching CBS Sunday Morning before Church.  Afterwards, we hit up Zaxby’s on our way to Bristol.  We visited The Bee House to pick up some supplies, and checked on our little ladies.  They’ve been busy!  But first, lemme take a selfie.

Disclaimer: I hate this song.  But it does crack me up, and I fully support making fun of selfies, even as I post one of myself.

I have since retired bee suits, gloves, and long sleeves.  Wearing my Masters tee shirt for Masters Sunday, natch.  I still wear the veil, because it’s really distracting when the bees bump into your face.

They had built honeycomb across multiple frames that we had to break up, which spilled copious amounts of honey down into the bottom of the hive.  Felt bad, but we tasted it, and ’twas good.

They had this cleaned up in 30 minutes, at the most.  It’s pretty amazing how tidy they keep their hive.

We added another deep box on top to give them room, and a queen excluder between the boxes to keep Queen Beeyonce in the bottom box.  The ensures that the eggs/brood/larvae will stay in the bottom box, and the top box will remain straight up honey.  Hopefully they move upstairs and start filling it up with tupelo honey!

After the bees, Wheat helped me plant a whole bunch’a pumpkins in the field.  I planted Seminole pumpkins, white Cindarella pumpkins, sugar pumpkins, and some decorative gourds. We will see what happens!

And then, we watched the end of the final round of the Masters.  From our Bubba to the green jacket winner, we are so glad Bubba Watson won!

Happy Tuesday, y’all!

Until Next Time

Homemade Pizza Sauce

Now that you’ve seen my most recent kitchen fail, I’d like to backtrack and show you my good pizzas and my homemade pizza sauce, which was a definite success.

Our tomato plants have been really productive this summer, despite all the rain, and in addition to canning four quarts of romas, I also used some fresh romas to make a homemade tomato sauce!  I sort of just winged it with what I had, and it turned our really well.

Homemade Pizza Sauce  | Oysters & Pearls

Homemade Pizza Sauce

ingredients

– 10 to 15 fresh roma tomatoes
– 1 Vidalia onion, minced
– 3 or 4 cloves of garlic, minced
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 jar tomato paste

instructions

Bring a pot of water to boil and drop the tomatoes into the water.  When the skins split, remove the tomatoes and set aside.  Once the tomatoes have cooled enough to handle, peel the skin off of them.

Heat the oil in a sauce pan, and sauté the onions over medium heat until transparent and soft.  Add the garlic and cook3 or 4 more minutes, being careful not to brown it.  Add the tomatoes and continue to simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the sauce is reduced, stirring often and smashing the tomatoes against the side of the bowl.  Add the can of tomato paste to make it more pizza sauce-y.  Cool, and blend with an immersion blender or transfer to a food processor or blender.  Salt and pepper to taste.  This could totally be spaghetti sauce, too, and you could add ground sausage, meatballs, ground beef, etc. to beef it up (pun intended).

Onion & Garlic to Start Pizza Sauce | Oysters & Pearls

Starting the sauce off with onions and garlic.

Tomatoes for Homemade Tomato Sauce | Oysters & Pearls

Add the tomatoes.

Homemade Tomato Sauce | Oysters & Pearls

Simmer and smash.

Homemade Tomato Sauce + Tomato Paste | Oysters & Pearls

Add tomato paste.

Blending Homemade Tomato Sauce | Oysters & Pearls

Blend.

Pizza Crusts with Sauce | Oysters & Pearls

Use sauce to top pizzas.  I use a spoon to put the sauce on the dough, then use the back of the spoon to spread it around.

Freshly Shredded Mozzeralla Cheese | Oysters & Pearls

Shred fresh mozzarella and top your pizzas.

Caramelized Onion, Prosciutto, & Pickled Okra Pizza | Oysters & Pearls

I topped my pizza with caramelized onions, spicy pickled okra, and prosciutto.  It was awesome!  I like to do a thin layer of mozzarella, then the toppings, then more mozz. It makes sure everything sticks together!

Caramelized Onion, Fresh Jalapeno, & Pepperoni Pizza | Oysters & Pearls

Wheat’s pizza toppings consisted of fresh jalapeños, caramelized onions, and pepperoni.  It was delicious, too!

Baking Pizza on Pizza Stone in Oven | Oysters & Pearls

Preheat your oven (woops, should have told you that before!) to 400 degrees with the pizza stone preheating along inside.  Transfer your pizzas on parchment paper to the stone, and bake for 20 minutes.

Caramelized Onion, Prosciutto & Spicy Pickled Okra Pizza | Oysters & Pearls

Yum!  Makes me want pizza right now.  Pizza for breakfast (or any time of day) is totally acceptable in my book.

That redeems me from my sad pizza-calzone-mess, right?

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Spicy Pickled Okra

If you know me well, heck if you know me at all, then you know I <3 spicy and I <3 pickled.  Pickled okra is one of my favorites.  So as soon as I started canning a few years ago, pickled okra was first on the list.  I’ve been using this recipe ever since then, and I’m super excited to share it with you today, because it’s the bomb.com.

Spicy Pickled Okra | Oysters & Pearls

Spicy Pickled Okra (an evolving version of a recipe from Emeril Lagasse from 2001 on Food Network)

– fresh baby okra (2 to 3 inch pods are best)
– 1 quart white vinegar
– 6 tablespoons kosher salt
– 8 peeled garlic cloves
– 16 fresh hot peppers
– 1/3 cup whole mustard seeds
– 1/3 cup whole dill seeds

Note: sanitize your jars and lids in a dishwasher ahead of time.  Keep them hot in the dishwasher, or keep them warm in the microwave until you’re ready to pack and fill them.

Another note: Before you start anything, start heating up your canning/processing pot to boiling.  It takes about 30 minutes for me.

Wash okra under cold running water and trim the stems if necessary.  Soak okra in ice water for 1 hour, then drain and pat dry.  Divide the okra between sanitized pint jars and pack them, first as full as possible cap side down, then fill in with okra cap side up.  Evenly divide the garlic cloves, peppers, mustard and dill seed between your packed jars.

In a large pot, bring vinegar and salt to a rolling boil.  Ladle the hot vinegar mixture over the packed jars, covering okra by at least 1/4 inch and leaving 1/2 inch of head space.  Tap the jars or use a chopstick to jiggle the okra around to make sure you get all the bubbles out of them.  Wipe the rims clean, screw the jar lids on, and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.  Remove to a towel, and the jars will seal and pop as they cool down.  Let them sit until they’re room temperature, and do your best to wait four whole weeks before eating any of them.

Fresh Okra | Oysters & Pearls

We bought this okra at Harvest Moon last weekend.  But we did have TWO whole okra pods from our garden that got included in one of the jars!  Ha.

Homegrown Peppers | Oysters & Pearls

We grew these tabasco peppers from peppers my aunt gave me.  They are the first ones we’ve picked!  Should be plenty more where that came from.  We’ve had better luck in the pepper department than we have in the okra department.

Packing Jars with Okra | Oysters & Pearls

The Before: Packed jars full of beautiful okra (above) and the After: delicious pickled okra (below).

Spicy Pickled Okra Recipe | Oysters & Pearls

Author’s recommendation: these are TDF in a bloody mary…

And on that note, happy Friday!

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