When I was a kid, our neighbor, Wilbur Pickett, made hot sauce on an open fire on the vacant elementary school-yard between our McComb, Miss., houses.
I didn’t think too much about why until years later when I made my first batch of garlicky dill pickles from garden cucumbers – and stunk up my house without the possibility of parole.
Luckily, I’d acquired a small, bottle-gas burner for football tailgating. From then on, I cooked my pickling juice out on the porch to avoid the penetrating aroma. It’s mighty good in the jar, but it’s a bit something to take into your nose when it’s steaming hot. It also infuses itself into drywall (just my opinion – not a scientific fact).
Now I know why Wilbur’s wife, Gladys, sent him to the school yard for his vinegary concoction.
This recipe for giardiniera mimics those fancy, expensive pickled veggies in the grocery but is easy to make at home. It makes a pretty gift for friends, too. Try it.