Recipe: Pickled boiled eggs

Erica Edel, of Milaca, did well at last week’s Mille Lacs County Fair in Princeton in exhibiting as a 4-H’er in the family consumer science presentation area. Edel, who will be a sophomore at Milaca High School this fall, received grand champion and champion ribbons for her pickled boiled eggs in that category. Edel, when asked about her interests, said she enjoys lots of music, including some pop and metal.

Edel didn’t have her recipe with her when she was photographed for this column, but she did give some preparation instructions. The pickling kit is available at stores, including Walmart and Coborn’s. Many recipe books should have the recipe for assembling all the ingredients for pickling and how to do it.

Edel, for her exhibit, boiled almost a dozen eggs to the hard boiled stage, cooled them, removed the shells and then packed the eggs lightly into a quart canning jar. She next prepared the pickling juice and poured that over the eggs to fill the jar as the pickling instructions should explain.
She next put on the jar lid and threaded ring and hand tightened it. Next, she placed the jar into a pot of boiling water so that the top of the jar was immersed and kept the jar in the boiling water for 10 minutes. Then she removed the jar, let it cool and made sure the button on the lid showed that it was properly sealed. (There is a button on a canning lid, and if it still moves up and down, then it is not yet sealed and would be unsafe for storage.) Next, she tightened the outer ring completely.
A lot of information on pickling can be found online and in books. A website for the National Center for Home Food Preservation cautions that the “level of acidity in a pickled product is as important to its safety as it is to taste and texture.” It also states that a canner should only use recipes with tested proportions of ingredients. Furthermore, there must be a minimum and uniform level of acid throughout the mixed product to prevent the growth of botulinum bacteria. The website also recommends using standard canning jars and self-sealing lids.