Monday, July 3, 2017

In a Pickle...

If  you've read one blog post or seen even one IG post of mine you probably already know I'm a Lowcountry gal at heart. Charleston born and proud of it!

I consider myself "stuck" 5 hours inland :)

I have ingrained that love of coastal South Carolina, Charleston and all the Southern goodness that entails into Mollie!

(IOP beach house with colorful chairs and Coast hat!)

A friend from Ohio once purchased a t-shirt for me after knowing me only a short while. 
It said "GRITS"
*Girls Raised In The South.
I loved that shirt!

One of the things that Mollie and I like to do when we are in Charleston is have lunch at Jestine's Kitchen. 
After we stroll through the shops on King. 
After we stock up on candles at Candlefish and buy some candied pecans in the Market.
 Then we are ready for a hearty lunch!

This spot is perfect for a completely, undeniably, deep fried Southern lunch.
Mollie thinks Jestine's in Charleston, SC and Michie Tavern in Charlottesville, VA have the best fried chicken evahhhh!!!
I'm all about the okra gumbo. Okra anything, really.
But we definitely agree on this - the little saucer of pickles that they bring to your table when you are seated is fabulous.

We were reminiscing about Jestine's Kitchen the other day 
(be sure to read the top 10 questions tourist ask them!!) 
and I decided to "google" Jestine's pickle recipe and give it a try.
Here's what I came up with (just in time for Fourth of July snacking!)

I bought some fresh cucumbers from Trader Joes.
Any pickling or regular salad cuke will work.

I used a vegetable peeler to remove some of the skin. 
I like the striped effect it makes on the edges of the pickles.

I sliced them very, very thin on my old Pampered Chef slicer.
 It's been around here a long time and well used!
Some recipes indicated you could make them any thickness you prefer
 but we like how paper thin the pickles are at Jestine's.

Then I sliced a small onion paper thin as well. 
I dice my thin sliced onion because I personally like the onion to be smaller.

Next up - peppercorns. To taste. I put a lot (like a lot!!) in my pickles.

We use an antique industrial cabinet to hold our multitude of spices.
And fitting for this post - to the left you can see a favorite lino print by Charleston, SC artist Stacy Bradley of Perlaanne Press. 

And then you add sugar.
 I combined a couple of recipes that stated they were similar to Jestine's. I chose to do about a 1/2 cup of sugar to my 6 small cukes. Some recipes suggested 3/4 of a cup. 
That's up to your pickle sweetness preference :)
 The pickles aren't just sweet pickles - they have a tart side too but they aren't dill pickles. 
They are just really, really yummy!

Stir it all gently and then fill your clean glass jars with the cucumber mixture. 
Be sure that each jar has plenty of peppercorns and onions 
mixed in with the cucumber slices.

They are so crisp and fresh looking.

Pour white vinegar to the halfway mark of your pickles.
Then fill the jar the rest of the way with water.

Put a lid on the jar and shake gently to be sure everything is well mixed.

Then simply put in the refrigerator over night so all the flavors can blend together.

They are delicious as a starter like at Jestine's, on sandwiches and more. 
The small jar will be a hostess gift when we join friends for a Fourth of July cookout.

We will enjoy the other jar at home.
Jestine's pickles will keep in the refrigerator for a week or two -
if they last that long!!

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