Tuesday, August 24, 2021

STRANGE PICKLES: How to Store Food Without a Refrigerator by Marisa Masterson

No pressure canners. No refrigerators. No money to buy expensive canned (tinned) food. 

That was the situation for many pioneer farmwives. Very little cash was available to these families, especially as many settlers saved to put up a multi-room home and buy farming equipment. To put away their cash for these, women resorted to vinegar. They created what seems today to be odd pickles.

Root vegetables like potatoes (which were served at nearly every meal) could be stored in underground cellars. Other vegetables were needed in the winter also, so what couldn't be dried was pickled.

Fish and meat along with vegetables ilke green beans and fruits like peaches would be pickled. Busy women scrounged the areas around their farms to supplement what they could put up for the winter. Apples and gooseberries were examples of what might be found and pickled.

Pickled Cod

One unusual pickle I found in my research was called the mango. This has nothing to do with the tropical fruit. Peaches would be stuffed with a garlic and onion mixture. Then the stuffed fruit would be pickled in vinegar and called oil mangos. (http://www.raggedsoldier.com/food_preservation.pdf)

In researching about this, the recipe that most surprised me used green tomatoes. From The Woman Suffrage Cookbook, this recipe dates back to 1886 in print. It was undoubtedly used before that. 

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1 comment:

  1. Fascinating! When my grandmother passed away many years ago, we found hundreds of jars of pickled and canned items in the basement. Tomatoes did seem to be her favorite!


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