When I first moved to Baltimore in 2008, someone said to me, “If you’re in Bawlmer for more than 5 years, you will never leave”. I was very skeptical of the idea, and to be honest, I never thought it’d happen to me. After 5 and a half years of residing on the banks of the Chesapeake Bay, I have finally discovered my inner “Baytriotism”. The Chesapeake Bay is a wonder unlike any other. I’ve sailed, sampled, experienced, and taken in it’s beauty season by season. Don’t get me wrong, in regards to the ecology, pollution, and health of the Chesapeake Bay it is filthy. Personally, though I may be a bit biased (having studied harmful bacteria for the past 6yrs), I would never consume any fish or oysters out of the Bay.
Like many others, before moving to Maryland, I had never tasted crab let alone ever heard of Old Bay Seasoning. It didn’t take long as it’s pretty impossible to avoid the stuff… Old Bay popcorn, Old Bay rimmed bloody mary’s, Old Bay this… Old Bay Pickled Green Beans! The idea to add Old Bay to this pickle recipe actually came from a friend of mine here in Baltimore a few years back. The result: an absolutely amazing pickle. I’ve experimented with these pickles a few times now, and decided that because I’m feeling extra nostalgic I’d ramp up the spices for this batch. Depending on your preference you could easily omit the hot peppers and alter the Old Bay to satisfy your needs. Enjoy!
I find that pickles make a perfect pre-dinner snack in that they are vinegary and salty enough to prepare your palate for dinner, yet not too filling to ruin your appetite. Before I discovered home pickling, I would keep at least 2 to 3 jars of Safeway’s Zesty Dill Pickles on hand at all times for pre-meal time snacking. I know which local joints serve pickles with their burgers/sandwiches and make sure I always ask for extras. While I haven’t had my sodium levels checked in a while, I see no problem with my overzealous pickle consumption… Did I mention how many likeminded pickle lovers you’ll meet if you reserve your homemade brine and bring it to parties for use in pickle backs? Last Christmas I was gifted my first pickling book, Linda Ziedrich’s – The Joy of Pickling. My reality of pickling was forever changed; who knew there were so many varieties and options for pickling… New to the pickling hobby, I decided to play it safe and stick with something I was guaranteed to enjoy: Zydeco Beans or ZydeGo Beans as I call them. I was recently informed of my label typos and that I have been misspelling Zydeco for the past 11mos. This modified spicy pickling brine is fool proof, in so that I have begun swapping out the beans for other veggies such as carrots and cucumbers.