Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Little Women: Recipe - Pickled Limes

"I owe at least a dozen pickled limes, and I can't pay them, you know, till I have money...."

By now,  you're probably familiar with Amy's humiliation- when she's forced by her teacher to toss her precious pickled limes out of the classroom window and face punishment for bringing the banned limes into school....but what are pickled limes?

"The Joy of Pickling" by Linda Ziedrich says that limes were a hot comodity on the schoolyards of New England in the late 1800's.  The pickled limes came from the West Indies, where small limes were packed sea water or brine and shipped in barrels to the north east.  They were sold in jars at candy stores and all the children had to have them.  They were the Crazy Bandz of the 1800's!!  (Or Pogs if you grew up in the 90's like me.) 

"Why, you see, the girls are always buying them, and unless you want to be thought mean, you must do it, too.  It's nothing but limes now, for everyone is sucking them in their desks in schooltime, and trading them off for pencils, bead rings, paper dolls, or something else, at recess.  If one girl likes another, she gives her a lime; if she's mad with her, she eats one before her face, and doesn't offer even a suck.  They treat by turns and I've had ever so many but haven't returned them, and I ought, for they are debts of honor, you know."

Admittedly, pickled limes don't sound very appealing, but out of curiosity and loyalty to my dear friends here in the book club, I will try them.  They are pretty easy to make:


  • Key limes
  • Pickling Salt
  • Water
  • Glass Jar

Clean your limes and place them whole into your jar.  For every 1 cup of water you add to the jar, add 1 tbsp of pickling salt.  Place the lid on the jar and shake a little to stir up the salt and water.  Be sure your lid is sealed tightly and place in the refrigerator for 3 weeks. 

In 3 weeks, my husband and I will bravely try our pickled limes and report back to you.    There are several ways you can go about pickling limes, but this one was easiest!  Has anyone else tried these before?


  1. Hmm... I wonder if they'll taste better than they sound? Apparently, the kids liked them back in the day... so they can't be awful right?

    Maybe it's like lime and salt with your margarita. Minus the margarita. Well, that doesn't sound like much fun. Maybe keep a margarita nearby just in case. :o)

  2. I always keep a margarita close ;)

  3. I am not surprised. ;o) Tehehehe. I'm reading your book tonight, by the way. I am impressed!

  4. I'll be very interested to hear the 3 week update.... Not sure I buy pickled limes...though to be fair I never jumped on the Pog bandwagon either!


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