Pickled meal in a jar!

Meal in a jar

My pickled meal-in-a-jar

During a stop at my local smokehouse, my attention was riveted like a raptor who’s spied a wounded stegosaurus. In a section of the cooler identified as “things not for sale” I saw a near empty glass container with a label promising A Meal In A Jar.

What a great idea! Pickled sausages and eggs reside on many bar tops; combine them with a few green beans or carrots and you’ve got a well balanced culinary experience that you might keep in your glove compartment and go out and claim during a long night at the tavern. (The bar might also keep them for regular patrons in the same way finer establishments store bottles of wine, scotch or soju.)

I whipped up a batch of brine using the simple formula of 3/4 c cider vinegar, 3/4 c water, 1 t pickling spice and 1 t salt. I added a pinch of alum (available in the baking department at better supermarkets) to keep the crunch in the ingredients and brought to a boil, then poured into a pint jar in which I’d pre-loaded 2 hard boiled eggs, a worthy chunk of kielbasa and enough pre-blanched green beans and carrot spears to fill the remaining space. This was then packed away in my fridge and brought out again a week later.

The result? Excellent. Everything benefited from the pickling bath and I think the foodstuffs cross flavored one another. I would love to publish this as a recipe but there’s an issue: many authorities caution against vacuum-processing pickling eggs because of botulism issues. So, go ahead and make this but don’t plan to can it for your girlfriend who’s going out to work in the oil fields of North Dakota. Keep cool and eat within a few days–basically the same process you’d follow with pickled eggs on their own.

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