Had an epiphany on how to handle the okra problem. Okra has to be harvested frequently and doesn’t store well in the refrigerator. This means I have many small batches that aren’t worth trying to can or freeze. The solution is to pickle the okra in the refrigerator. It will last for 3 to 6 months and the recipe is the same as pickled okra made in the canner. So I can hold the okra in brine until I have enough to can (and wait for the weather to cool). I made four quarts using the following recipe:
- Trim the stems off of the okra. Most instruction say to leave a quarter inch on, but I just cut at the junction between the stem and pod. This is also a good time to determine if they have gotten too woody.
- Fill each quart jar with as much okra as I can pack. Start off putting in the large ends first, then put the narrow ends in first to finish filling
- Add to each jar 1 T of pickling spice (I found a brand that doesn’t use dill), 1 t of onion flakes (fresh would probably be better, but it was what I had), and 1 clove of peeled whole garlic (two I they are small)
- Make a brine by heating 1 c vinegar, 1 c water, 1 T pickling or kosher salt, and 1 t sugar until the sugar and salt dissolve.
- Fill the jars with brine to submerge all okra and let sit on counter for an hour.
- Top of the containers as needed and loosely attach lids and bands. The fermentation will produce gas that needs to be allowed to escape.
I will need to do more research on proper canning procedure, but I think it is boiling bath for 15 minutes. Will post exact procedure once I have enough jars to can. Four down so far.