south boston, va
Do you ever wake up wishing for pickles? I admit it’s a funny craving for the morning, but it’s exactly what I wanted when I woke up today. Not just any pickles, the pickles from my wedding, almost 1 year ago. The pickled apricots, watermelon rind, okra, green tomatoes and bread and butter pickles in this picture were made by the local ladies down in South Boston, Virginia, where we wed last October at Berry Hill. We served them the night before we walked down the aisle along side ham biscuits and barbecue chicken and tomato pie and watermelon, watercress and feta salad. We topped it all off with a cobbler of blackberries picked on the Berry Hill grounds, and served ala mode in cast iron skillets. Then we all settled in on cozy blankets and pillows with peanuts and popcorn to watch A Knights Tale on the lawn on a big screen under the stars. These pickles were shot by our friend and photographer James Bowman, and it serves as a beautiful reminder of one of the most memorable meals and nights of my life.
Since the sun is going down on summer, it’s high time you and I start thinking about putting up some pickles for our next memorable meal, which is fortuitous, since today is Farmer’s Market Day in my neighborhood and there are still plenty of okra, peaches and cukes to be had. I’d be quite happy to stay home today and pour spicy, vinegary broth into jars packed with my favorite summer flavors. There’s only one problem. We’ve got the March issue of Food Network Magazine to finish up, and our readers are counting on me. That puts me in quite a pickle.
Let’s make a deal—I’ll give you the recipes, and you make the pickles. Over the next two weeks as we approach my one-year anniversary, I’ll give you these and all the recipes our friends and guests have been asking for from our wedding menu so you can celebrate all the big events in your life.
In the meantime, the test kitchen calls.