Jan Norris: Food and Florida

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Pickled Egg Recipes in Country Cookbook from Missouri

April 21st, 2011 · No Comments


Pickled egg variations /photo courtesy eggpub.com

After Easter, my childhood neighbor, Mrs. Arda Smiggen, made pickled eggs with leftover Easter eggs. My dad could eat a jar of them, unfortunately. I remember the pink eggs on her counter whose insides matched the pink refrigerator in her kitchen that my dad had painted for her.

So I smiled when someone brought me a copy of a pickled egg cookbook – it brought back colorful memories.

Violet Mae Steele Clayton must have been a pip of a country gal. Her cookbook, called Ultra Violet’s Pickled Egg Cookbook is peppered with tales of her pranksterism, most involving laxative foods passed along to unsuspecting diners.

Clayton was from the country in Missouri, helped with a junk hauling business, ran a bakery, a restaurant, a stock car track, rode a Harley Davidson 80, and frequently voiced her opinion, requested or not.

She also was fond of and known for her pickled eggs. 41 recipes (who knew there were so many variations on the theme?) for pickled eggs are in the book, along with numerous stories of Violet, her husband and many friends. A good sprinkling of Missouri history tidbits, including tales of the James-Younger gang are added.

The book’s country-corny, representative of a time in rural America when serving Ex-Lax in place of chocolate was typical of harmless pranksterism. Basic rules for pickling and hard-boiling and peeling eggs are here, too, but some of the recipes are sparse as to direction – it’s a good idea to have a foundation for pickling before you launch into the recipes.

Here are a couple of Violet Clayton’s recipes, courtesy of the publisher, Rexdale Publishing. (To order Ultra Violet’s Pickled Egg Cookbook by Carl T. Shepherd, go to rexdalepublishing.com – it’s $6.95 plus shipping.)

More recipes can be found at Eggpub.com – which is part of an English tavern. Apparently, the Brits love those eggs, too.

Smokin’ Hots Pickled Eggs

  • 6 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 10 hot red peppers
  • 1/2 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tablespoon cardamom seeds
  • 1/2 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 3 tablespoons peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon whole allspice
  • 1/2 tablespoon mace
  • 2 dozen hard-boiled eggs, peeled

Put all ingredients except eggs in a non-reactive saucepan and bring to a boil; boil for 10 minutes.

Pack the peeled eggs into a sterile glass jar or container; pour the pickling mixture over the eggs to cover. Cover jar or container and refrigerate or keep in a cool place for 2 weeks before serving for best results.

Makes 24 eggs.

Aunt Belle’s Pickled Eggs

  • 2 dozen hard-boiled eggs, peeled
  • 2 (16-ounce) cans whole or sliced beets
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 6 cinnamon sticks
  • 24 whole cloves

Put eggs and beets in a sterile glass jar. Combine all other ingredients in a non-reactive saucepan. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 2 to 3 minuts. Pour hot pickling liquid over eggs and beets in jar. Seal and marinate for 1 week in a cool place or in refrigerator before serving.

Makes 24 (pink) eggs.

Tags: Cookbooks new and old · Recipes: What's Cooking!

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