Friday, July 16, 2010

Okra-Palooza

  Today was the start of Okra-Palooza, that very, very local festival taking place in the preserve kitchen at Blackberry Farm.  You didn't hear of it?  Didn't get your tickets?  Aren't dressed for it?  Don't feel badly!  It was by invitation only, three invitations maximum.  We are making 6,604 jars of pickled okra for an outside customer, and okra is currently at the height of the season.  300 pounds of okra came in, at the very same time that 6,000 jars came rolling in.
  Abby and I finished labeling all the jam made in the last two days just in time, too.  The tables were clear, cleaned and sanitized.  The boys--okay, they're mostly in the 30's, but they're boys to me--got the jars off the truck and pushed them over to the loading dock.  I called around and walked around the restaurant with the Chef, finding room for the jars.  Eric brought in the okra, and Abby started washing it.  Dustin and Eric shuffled jar boxes here and there, stacked as high as was safe.  I started washing jars and traying them up.  I called the jar company and asked where the 7,000 lids were.  They are on their way, but from a different location; they'll be here Tuesday.  I sure hope so!  Because the other 6,000 pounds of okra start pouring in on Thursday!
  Abby, Dustin and I stuffed four cases of okra into jars, got the water boiling in the tilt skillet, made the brine and sealed the jars.
  We have the first 111 jars done.  Only 6493 to go!  We can do it!  I'm pretty sure...

2 comments:

LA said...

Yummy pickled okra!!! One of my favorite items in a Bloody Mary on Sunday mornings!!! Of course, okra is really best fried!

Sharon said...

I've typed a couple comments and deleted them, because I honestly don't know what to say. I only lived in the South one year and left hating grits and okra. What on earth am I missing???