Originally published on November 3, 2009
The last entry in the To Kill a Mockingbird recipes is one you probably won’t try and one I’m making up as I go along. I wanted to include Pickled Pig Knuckles for one reason only, because the section of the book where this shows up is so touching, it brings tears to my eyes whenever I read it. Atticus has lost his case and Tom Robinson is on his way to prison. The next morning, as the children struggle with what has gone on, Atticus sits down to breakfast, only to be greeted by an incredible plate of food like he has never seen before. Confused, he lets Calpurnia lead him into the kitchen, which is filled to overflowing with gifts from everyone who appreciated all he did for Tom Robinson:
The kitchen table was loaded with enough food to bury the family: hunks of salt pork, tomatoes, beans, even scuppernongs. Atticus grinned when he found a jar of pickled pigs’ knuckles. “Reckon Aunty’ll let me eat these in the diningroom?”
Calpurnia said,”This was all ’round the back steps when I got here this morning Mr. Finch. They – they aren’t oversteppin’ themselves, are they?”
Atticus’ eyes filled with tears. He did not speak for a moment. “Tell them I’m very grateful,” he said. “Tell them – tell them they must never do this again. Times are too hard.”
I searched for Pickled Pigs Knuckles recipes, this one for Pickled Pigs Feet seemed like the best one, so thought I’d link to it, since I’m not likely to recipe test it anytime soon. I think you could easily substitute knuckles without any ill effects.
Nowadays the commercial products are just so expensive that it’s more economical to make your own. Besides, homemade pickled pigs feet taste far better than what you can get from the jar. I prefer to make my own as opposed to spending about 1 dollar and 25 cent for each piece of pigs feet.
Pickled Pigs Feet Recipe
6 – fresh pigs feet, split in half lengthwise
2 – red chile peppers, fresh
1 – medium onion, chopped
2 – bay leaves
2 – tablespoons salt
1 – teaspoon peppercorns
1/2 – tablespoon mustard seed
1/2 – tablespoon coriander seed
1/4 – teaspoon cloves
to read more, go here
The Ambrosia appears earlier in the story, at a disastrous Christmas celebration, where the only redeeming feature is the food.
….Aunt Alexandra didn’t understand girls.
But her cooking made up for everything: three kinds of meat; summer vegetables from her pantry shelves; peach pickles; two kinds of cake and ambrosia constituted a modes Christmas dinner.
Ambrosia is pretty simple, but a fresh ambrosia salad in 1930’s Alabama in December, I wasn’t sure what would be used. I decided that peaches, grapes, banana, whipping cream, pecans, little bit of sugar and mixing it together could work. For a more modern touch, substitute ginger ale for the sugar and sprinkle with coconut. Neither may be authentic, but they are tasty all the same.
For more fun, check out the nasty bits posts.