Jar of Hearts

  • Pin It
  • print
  • email to a friend
By Paula Deen

Many families make pickling a summertime tradition. It’s the best way I know to hold onto summer—or at least what the season brings to the garden. While sunburns fade and sand gets washed from between your toes, the tastes of summer can remain safely sealed away in the pantry for a cold and rainy day.


In a Pickle
My momma didn’t do a whole bunch of canning herself, but my grandmother sure did. She pickled everything that sat still long enough. I think she wanted to pickle my granddaddy a time or two if only she had the jar to hold him! With all that practice, it’s not surprising that my grandmother made the best pickles—perfectly tart and crunchy. We’d spend an entire day making ‘em together, sweating in a hot kitchen over boilin’ jars, the strong scent of vinegar burning our noses.

Unfortunately, I don’t have too much time for that kind of canning anymore. Entire days to myself are scarce as hen’s teeth, so I prefer a quick-canning method that works real well. Besides, even if I did manage to carve out some peace and quiet, it wouldn’t last long. My house is a revolving door of friends and family—grandkids wanting to swim in the pool, my sons wanting something from my garden, or Aunt Peggy wanting to make sure I haven’t gone completely off my rocker with all this running around. But the truth is, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I wasted too many years holed up in my house, afraid of the people and the world around me. I think I’ve more than had my fill of alone time, y’all. Today, I realize that my friends and family are a blessing and that every moment we have together is a gift.

Canned Laughter
I was reminded of this when my daughter-in-love Michelle and her son Henry stopped by.  Oh my goodness, Henry is so precious.  He’s the happiest baby, and so curious about everything. He immediately wanted to get in on the canning action. He dropped okra into jars while his mom and I supervised, just like my grandmother did when I was little. He loved all the colorful jars filled with bright fruits and vegetables, and he’d scrunch his little face up every time he smelled vinegar.

Aunt Peggy’s ears must’ve been burning, because she showed up not ten minutes later. Not one to watch someone else do all the work—or have all the fun—Aunt Peggy dove right in, slicing up cucumbers and stuffing peppers into jars. The four of us worked all afternoon, pickling whatever we could get our hands on simply because we didn’t want our time together to end. By the time we finally ran out of produce, I had so many jars that I was more than grateful to pass some along to Michelle and Aunt Peggy.

Sure, cooking is my job, but it’s also the thing that continues to bring my family together even to this day. We share stories, memories and laughs in the kitchen. We had so much fun that afternoon, playing our pick-up game of pickling. For me, it was just another ordinary—or rather, extraordinary—day of cooking and family.

Try some of Paula’s favorite pickling recipes!
Icebox Bread and Butter Pickles
Garlic Pickled Carrots
Pickled Okra
Pickled Watermelon Rind
Rhubarb Refrigerator Pickles
Pickled Vegetables

Read More From Cooking Basics.

Read More From On the Shelf.

Read More From Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables.

You May Also Like These Blogs:

You May Also Like These Recipes:

  • Citrus Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing Citrus Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing
    View Now
  • Carrot, Zucchini, Squash Ribbons Carrot, Zucchini, Squash Ribbons
    54321
    View Now
  • Jamie’s Salad with Maple Red Wine Vinaigrette Jamie’s Salad with Maple Red Wine Vinaigrette
    43211
    View Now
  • The Deen Bros. Lighter No-Crust Creamed Spinach Quiche The Deen Bros. Lighter No-Crust Creamed Spinach Quiche
    View Now

Leave a Comment

Reader Comments:

54321

Thank goodness we can still see you via internet. Miss you like a sister.

By Ida Dohoney on December 10, 2013

54321

so glad to see your pretty face on my pc love you paula

By Anonymous on September 16, 2013

54321

Paula I just love you, and my dream is one day to meet you. To cook with you and I would die..... take care

By Mandi Nicholas on September 07, 2013

54321

I enjoyed reading your lovely stories. It is very heartwarming to see that such endearing traditions are being handed down, generation to generation, in your family. We never did canning, but I wish we had!

By Janet on September 03, 2013

54321

My grandmother used to can everything too. I've never tried, but I so wanted to plant cucumbers this year to attempt her bread and butter pickles. Unfortunately, I didn't get that done. I did find some delish bread and butter pickles at an Amish store in Fredericksburg, TX. They tasted just like my mema's. I'll have to try some of these recipes next summer!

By LaurenM on September 02, 2013

54321

please unsubscribe me...very confusing to do it myself. Thanks

By Shirley Goff on August 28, 2013

54321

We love you Paula Deen. You are the BEST.

By Betty fisher on August 24, 2013

54321

The happy pictures of you and Aunt Peggy remind Ted of visits from your Mom and uncle Johnny to Atlanta.We are so very proud of you.

By Ted and Nancy Cook on August 23, 2013

54321

I love you Paula you have a great family God Bless them all

By keisha williams on August 23, 2013

54321

Saludos Paula Deen como me gustariac poder cocinar contigo algun dia. Soy de Puerto Rico pero actualmente vivo en Nebraska. Me gustaria ver unas vacaciones con toda tu familia en verdad que disfrute mucho las que hicistes en St. Lucia y me gustaria que hicieran una pelicula de toda tu trayectoria de tantos años. De mi parte y mi familia te enviamos mucho cariño desde Nebraska.

By ROSA TORRES on August 23, 2013

54321

Was searching for some of those picking recipes especially the icebox bread and butters pickles. Now I had an Aunt who lived in Charlotte,Nc that introduced me to okra but somehow or other these northern folks don't seem to embrace okra but I still do. Grew some in small flats up on my deck! Need to get a garden in though to grow more cause I cant find them at the farmers markets up here? Whats the matter with these Yankees? Not growin okra? Have a pigroast to go to with a covered dish tomorrow at my sons house and those Chocolate Macadamia Cheesecake bars look like would be a great hit after eating pulled pork with barbecue sauce and all the other delightful goodies everyone else is bringing. Paula, this is a 70 year old young woman who has had her up and downs in life. Sometimes people can be cruel and life can be cruel. I lost my husband at a young age of 47 and being alone has been an interesting life. U have a wonderful husband and family so as the song goes,"DON'T WORRY, BE HAPPY!" Life goes on and all the warmth from ur family will be the richness that life has to offer! So KEEP ON KEEPIN ON girlfriend and we all need and love ur spirit for good cookin! With Love and Sincerety, Delores

By Delores Sowinski on August 23, 2013

54321

i love you mrs dean you are so good at what ever you do i really really miss seeing you every day take care

By Rosetta taylor on August 22, 2013

54321

Hi Paula, Soooooo happy to see you back. Love ya and miss ya!!

By charlene on August 22, 2013

54321

I began reading this and couldn't stop it was was so entertaining. Love the home spun humor you have, my dear. My husband Don and I (newly married at 82...reconnected at a jr. hi reunion after both our spouses had passed) have a garden which is and will produced many, many green beans, 4 types of tomatoes, yellow crookneck/zucchini squash and purple and Anaheim peppers. So many, we've started quick canning already...made up our own pickling recipe. But, we're going to try yours..especially the "green tomatoes and onions" one on your website. Thanks Paula for bringing joy to our lives, Peggy Allin

By Peggy Manning Allin on August 22, 2013

54321

Paula I so admire you and would give anything to be back there for any book signing. I told someone last week that if it needs doing that the Deens have already done it So now the saying is Deen done done it.

By Rosie Griffin on August 22, 2013

54321

Love all your recipes Paula. love you and miss you. But I will be reordering your magazine,

By Mary Bastine on August 22, 2013

54321

Paula I love looking at your recipes I was raised by parents from the south. so I have ate a lot of Southern cooking, and put on a lot of weight because of it. I would be interested in some real low cal and low carob meals I heard you was also diabetic. I have now lost 74 ponds but want to lose 60 pounds more so I would be very interested to hear what you have to say . THANK YOU DIANA

By Diana Shuttleworth on August 22, 2013

54321

Paula, thank you for sharing all your fabulous recipes over the years, I truly enjoy you and your family. I hope you come back we miss and love you. By the way you look fabulous, my husband is a type 2 diabetic and we both are trying to eat healthier and live a more active lifestyle. I enjoy watching both Jamie and Bobby's cooking shows. Love, Peace and Blessing, The Wigner's

By Janet L. Wigner on August 22, 2013

54321

I would like how your summer so have fun with your grand sons.

By Robert and Frances Cheatam on August 22, 2013

54321

Paula, I will always be a fan of yours, in the Kitchen with Paula, are my words in the afternoon, making a yummy meals from your show. Will always be a fan! Take care Paula the world loves you

By Ana AB on August 22, 2013

image
Paula Deen
Paula Deen
The Lady's Blog
The Queen of Southern Cuisine muses about her recipes, life and family. See Posts

Brooke Deen
Brooke Deen
Deen Mother
Advice on raising two boys (three counting Jamie). See Posts

Brandon Branch
Brandon Branch
Southern Style
Decorating Inspiration from Paula's Design Director. See Posts

Julia Sayers
Julia Sayers
Hot off the Press
Step behind the pages and let the Associate Editor of Cooking with Paula Deen fill you in on what goes into creating every issue. See Posts

Lisa Scarbrough
Lisa Scarbrough
Thrift Store Mommy
Mom on a dime advice from Paula's Digital Properties Manager. See Posts

Andrea Goto
Andrea Goto
Mom 2.0
Tips from a real-world mom with comedic tendencies. See Posts

Martha Lee
Martha Lee
Earth Mother
Practical, earth-conscious ways to live and parent in the 21st century. See Posts

Susan Greene a.k.a BUBBLES
Susan Greene a.k.a BUBBLES
Bubbles' Corner
Ideas and advice from a 21st Century young at heart Grandmother. See Posts

Cindy Edwards
Cindy Edwards
Southern Proper
Etiquette advice from a true Southern belle. See Posts

image

hi! wink i was wondering if you could share the recipe for the chiken/grape salad-the one that is pictured on the croissant above? thanks! wink sandra
Sandra Neuheimer-Huller in Chicken Salad: A Southern Staple on April 19, 2014 at 10:37 am

Where do I buy these magazines
in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 8:22 am

I WISH I COULD COOK. COULD I COME WORK FOR JUST ROOM AND BOARD AT YOUR NEW RESTURAUNT IN PIGEON FORGE FOR THE SUMMER? I WENT TO COLLEGE NOT FAR FROM THERE - HIWASSEE COLLEGE. YOU WOULDN'T HAVE TO PAY ME, I WOULD WORK FOR FREE JUST FOR THE EXPERIENCE. TAMMY LEVAN 19 SPENCER WAY KINGS PARK, NY 11754 HAPPY EASTER! CHRIST IS RISEN!
TAMMY L LEVAN in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 4:31 am

Hi Bubbles, You have some great tips. Can't wait to read your other blogs! Please give Aunt Peggy a big hug from me and here is one for you! (((HUGS))) See you in May!
Jaci Pardun in 10 Quick Household Tips on April 18, 2014 at 11:05 pm

Paula, I am glad to know that I am not the only person who makes Easter Baskets for their adult children and mail them across the United States. My Daughter lives in Long Beach, CA and I not only sent her a basket but her husband and my granddaughter Reese. We also buy special Russel Stover Bunnies for each child too. My husband has the list in his phone... Sara .. Cookies 'n Crème.... Sidney and Stephen.. Peanut Butter Etc. It one of my favorite things to do for my kids.. no matter how old they get. And passing it along to my Grandchildren. It's even more special to me knowing we share a family tradition. Blessings and Happy Easter!!
Sharon Cason-Card in A Basketful of Traditions on April 18, 2014 at 11:03 pm