PICKLING! A new family tradition

I wish I could say, that pickling was a tradition that I did growing up, and that it had been in my family for years, (because, I love it). Considering, that my Mom was born and raised in the south, pickling would be something of second nature to her. And, it would have definitely been passed on to my sisters and I. Unfortunately, during my Mom’s childhood, she had to grow up fast! Growing up in the rural south, in the 1930’s and 40’s, money was tight, jobs were tight. Children had no choice but to work to keep the family afloat. Going to school was not an option for many families back than. You see my Mom left home at 13 years old, yes, I said 13 (she was the eldest of 6). She left for the big city, “New York,” to work as a cook, and nanny to send money back home to support her parents, and siblings. In my opinion, I don’t believe that there was enough time to pass down certain cooking traditions, because whole families had to sacrifice education over survival.

I say that, because having to explain why I love pickling so much, came from my training in culinary school. However, learning it opened my mind to adding flavor, and spices to food, that takes time to infuse, and that was fun for me. It’s like a kid who’s too anxious to go to sleep on Christmas Eve. This was different than just creating a dish, but for me, it was creating a food that’s like a sponge. Absorbing many hot and sweet spices.

Actually, I never had a interest in pickling. I assumed it would be boring, because it’s such a long process. However, patience is a virtue, and it is worth the wait. I think it’s because, I was never introduced to it early in my cooking life. Which began at the age of 16, helping my Mom prep food for the holidays.

Pickling certain foods, and adding them to a dish can make all the difference of how successful that dish can be. Or, the flavor it can add.

I love pickling cucumbers! It was one of the first things I pickled. I love pickles, and I’ve since pickled my own cucumbers at home.

I’ve pickled red cabbage, recently. I was looking for a certain flavor for my version of a Cuban pork hero sandwich. The dish tasted amazing. It was a burst of aromatic flavors, with all the ingredients I added.

Francie’s Cuban Hero Sandwich
Pickled red cabbage
Culinary school and my first pickling
Pickling pickles homemade

Ingredients/Brining liquid

Jars with seals

Dill

Garlic

Sugar

Vinegar

Salt

Red pepper 🌶

Water

Ingredients can be used to pickle cabbage, cucumbers, onions etc.

Toppings for sandwiches

Pickled red cabbage

Fresh cilantro

Jalapeños

Hero/Sub (any kind)

How to make

Boil 2 to 3 cups of water, add 1 cup of sugar, half cup of vinegar. Bring to a boil, then let cool.

Place dill, garlic and red pepper, and tablespoon of salt into jar with whatever you’re pickling. When liquid has cooled, add to the rest of the ingredients in the jar. Seal jar, not too tight, then add patience. Most times pickling is about a week. Red cabbage may take a day or two.

*check this blog for Roast Pork shoulder or Pene recipe