Monday, July 18, 2011

Kelp Pickles
Down at the bar, for some reason the subject of old-time food came up.  Somebody mentioned kelp pickles.  A guy's eyes lit up: "My mom used to make the best kelp pickles!"

Caught a big bullwhip kelp (= caught on the hook, dragged in, grumbling).  Decided, "Screw it, I'm making kelp pickles."

Take a big bullwhip kelp -- or a hunk of one.  For me, the beach and water is a refrigerator, so I just pick up what I need when I'm low on pickles (or fish, or scallops).  Note: this piece is too big and old!  Get a piece that is no bigger around than 3/4 of an inch.  The following pickles are too tough to be used for anything but relish -- but they sure taste good!
Chop into bite-size pieces, including the bulb.  Pour boiling water over it (turns bright green!), let set 10 minutes.  This kills the enzymes so the kelp won't go slimey.
Mix some pickling spices (black pepper, whole cilantro, dill), some sugar, some apple-cider vinegar.  If you're making garlic dill, leave out all but a dash of sugar, add garlic, tumeric, dill, black pepper, tarragon, instead of the sweet mix.  Oh, you know how.
Heat to simmer, pour over kelp pieces.
When cool, bottle and put in fridge for a couple weeks.  Really nice.  My neighbor gagged at the idea of kelp pickles because she'd had them and they were nasty. Bet the person who made them didn't BLANCH them!  Note:  I haven't tried to heat-seal them yet.  If you do, please let us know!  Suddenly, everybody wants a taste. 
Photo credit: Roberta Gregory (whom I'm teaching layered color in GIMP while I'm writing a pickle blog; I am such a techno-hick).


Leanne Franson said...

oh yum! Nice photos, Roberta! Wish I was up there with y'all! To die for!

Donna Barr said...

Just remember the next time you're near a Pacific beach. I think you could make these in a hotel room....