Elizabeth uses this basic recipe for pickling okra, beets, baby purple carrots, radishes--whatever's coming in from the garden. She also throws in fresh dill or mustard green shoots. The recipe is very forgiving; you'd have to work to mess it up. If you've got very small okra, then use half-pint jars instead.
4 1/2 pounds washed fresh okra
8 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
1/2 cup salt
10 garlic clove
10 serrano pepper
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon dill seeds
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
How to Make It
Brush okra lightly with a piece of nylon net or a brush to remove "fuzz." Trim stems from okra. Bring vinegar, water, and salt to a boil in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Pack half of okra vertically in 2 layers in 5 (1-pt.) hot sterilized jars, filling to 1/2 inch from top. (First layer should be packed with stems down and the next with stems up.) Add 1 garlic clove, 1 serrano pepper, 1 tsp. dill seeds, and 1 tsp. mustard seeds to each jar. Pour half of hot vinegar mixture over mixture in jars, filling to 1/2 inch from top. Seal and process as directed (see below). Repeat okra packing procedure with 5 more hot sterilized jars. Seal and process as directed. Let stand at least 7 days before serving.
A Three-Step Guide to Puttin' Up
Yes, it really is that easy. To get started, you'll need a basic canner, a jar lifter, and a canning rack. Look for a 9- or 12-piece canning kit, which will include all of these pieces and more.
Step 1: Sterilize.
Bring a canner half full of water to a boil; simmer. Place jars in a large stockpot with water to cover; bring to a boil, and simmer 10 minutes. Place bands and lids in a large saucepan. (Always use new lids.) Using a ladle, cover bands and lids with hot water from canner to soften gaskets. Let stand 10 minutes.
Step 2: Prepare Recipe.
Meanwhile, prepare recipe. Remove hot jars from stockpot, 1 at a time, using jar lifter, and fill as directed in recipe.
Step 3: Seal & Process.
Wipe rims of filled jars. Cover at once with metal lids, and screw on bands (snug but not too tight). Place jars in canning rack, and place in simmering water in canner. Add more boiling water as needed to cover jars by 1 to 2 inches. Bring water to a rolling boil; boil 10 minutes, adjusting processing time for altitude.* Turn off heat, and let stand 5 minutes. Remove jars from canner, and let stand at room temperature 24 hours. Test seals of jars by pressing centers of lids. If lids do not pop, jars are properly sealed. Store in a cool, dark place at room temperature up to 1 year. Refrigerate after opening.
*Consult the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning at nchfp.uga.edu/publications/publications_usda.html to adjust processing times for altitude.