Getting pickled at girls’ night has a whole new meaning! Who knew? Canning and pickling are the hip new trend! With more people planting a garden or hitting the farmers’ market in an effort to save money and eat a healthier diet, what could be better than a pickling party? Putting up fresh fruit and veggies, making homemade pickles, chow-chow, salsa, soup mix, and chutney is not only fun, it is economical and you get a jump on special homemade holiday gifts, too! So gather your girlfriends for this recession buster bash and get pickling!
When I start working on a party theme—I try to find one central item to design the whole party around. For this party, glass mason jars, and pretty repurposed bottles will take center stage. Other essential items will be baskets of produce and tons of spices. Greet your guests with an inexpensive monogrammed apron; many of the monogram stores now have them for under $10. This is a functional favor that will last long after the party is over!
This party is all about the activity. Everyone gets in on the action… the result? Guests get to take home the goodies to fill the pantry or to gift. But you certainly don’t need 20 jars of pickles in your pantry. When I hosted my party, I asked each guest if they had a recipe they’d like to make. We decided on the recipes and each guest brought items necessary for their recipe. I provided the mason jars, the food, and the fun.
For the food, I kept it simple. An appetizer buffet is really the best way to go. Select items that can sit out and don’t require a lot of attention; you’ll be busy pickling. Try easy to make recipes like these Cheese Puffs or my ever-popular Ham Delights. You can't go wrong with Southern Classics like homemade Cheese Straws or even a simple cheese board with do the trick.
For the drinks, a signature cocktail is always easy because you can make them in advance and nobody gets stuck with bartending duties. I love Sangria for a party like this---easy to make and perfect for a crowd.
For our party, we made Peppery Texas Pickles, Green Tomato Pickles and Easy Refrigerator Pickles. And because they are perfect in a Bloody Mary or in a salad, we made Dilled Green Beans, Spicy Pickled Okra, and Spicy Pickled Vegetables. In the South, we like a garden in our Bloody Mary but there are many other easy to make recipes available.
Homemade pickles are the perfect housewarming, hostess, or holiday gifts. Other easy to make ideas include: Infused oils, vanilla sugar, Limoncello, and homemade pepper sauce Give them alone or in a gift basket with homemade or bakery bread. Or you could do a Bloody Mary basket complete with your pickled veggies, a bottle of Bloody Mary mix, and your favorite vodka. Your friends will love getting these gifts and you’ll love all the fun you had making them!