This month my ongoing quest to find Tennessee products takes me to Nashville.
As I get more experienced in life, I am more interested in where my sustenance comes from and how it is produced and handled. I try to think about what is made in small batches to mega production runs. Do you remember the best green beans were the ones your mama canned? I remember my grandmother's pantry was filled with the wonders of life. I am guilty, as I grew up and my life got busy, of turning towards convenience in the grocery stores. I am now mature and want to get back to my roots of eating healthy.
Through the grapevine, I heard of a pickle person who really knows how to pucker up to the humble cucumber and make it more than you expect. Lee Oakley, Oakley's Southern Delights, talked to me about her voyage into pickles. Lee's mother Leila made pickles in an earthenware cock in her own kitchen. The fourteen day process consisted of brining, seasoning, hand packing and sealing. To honor her mother, Lee and her son Kerry bring her family recipes of sweet & spicy snacking pickles to market. Lee still stays with the fourteen day process, no shortcuts. Now it's time to try these beauties, fully chilled, I smell, look, poke and pop one into my mouth...wow, it's different! These treats are savory not hot, the herbs and seasonings seem to round out the flavor, with a little sweetness. I was sitting there with a jar and a fork thinking about using these in the recipes in my head. Oakley's Southern products reminds me of all the old school goodness missing in my life. The times when life was a little bit slower and goodness was as close as the pantry...the good old days.
You can find Oakley's products at the Nashville Farmers Market, The Produce Place, Green Door Gourmet and Corner Market. Check it out at www.oakleysoutherndelights.com. Give them a try, they are Tennessee Good!
Life, it's the best APP of all! Don't test and drive.