GRAM PERKINS’ EGG SALAD + HOMEMADE PICKLES

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My Gram Perkins passed down several recipes to me through the years. I keep most of them in a recipe book my mother compiled of family recipes. From Chocolate Pie to Thanksgiving dressing, Gram Perkins’ delicious Southern dishes continue to make their way onto my table—always tasting amazing, but not quite as good as when she made them.

One of the simplest (and most beloved) recipes she gave to me was for egg salad, featuring homemade Fourteen-Day Pickles (also known as sweet or bread-and-butter pickles). I think of it as one of the ultimate comfort foods. When I was a child, Gram Perkins often served it to me as a summer lunch or afternoon snack. I have vivid memories of sitting in her kitchen, watching her prepare her famous egg salad sandwich for me—always with extra pickles in a jar on the table.

After my Gram Perkins passed away, my granddaddy, lovingly known as Perk, continued making the famous Fourteen-Day Pickles. My mother carries on the family tradition today by gifting pints of these treasures every holiday season. Egg salad is definitely better with this homemade version but there are great bread-and-butter pickles available on the market today that you can use for your homemade egg salad. We recently taste tested the Blackberry Farm version and found it delicious.

No one really knows when egg salad itself was created, but it became a popular luncheon salad in the early 1800s, after French chef Marie-Antoine Carême invented mayonnaise as we know it today. A sister to tuna and chicken salad, egg salad is a nice option for those looking for a simple lunch, packed with protein.

We’ve started serving Gram Perkins’ egg salad in The Factory Café, complete with homemade pickles, made from her recipe. Stop by for lunch (new menu below) and try it on whole wheat sourdough toast, served with julienned honey crisp apples. (Trust me—the pairing of eggs and apples is delicious.)

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GRAM PERKINS’ EGG SALAD

Yields 2 cups

1 1/2 cup whole eggs, hardboiled  and coarsely chopped (about 5 eggs)
2 tablespoons Fourteen-Day Pickles—coarsely chopped (recipe below)
2 tablespoons lemon garlic aioli (see recipe below)
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
Chives, for garnish

Chop the hardboiled eggs and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine the chopped pickle, aioli, mustard, cayenne, and kosher salt. Stir using a whisk. Add in the eggs, folding them in gently using a rubber spatula. Garnish with chives, if desired.

Store refrigerated in an airtight container.

LEMON GARLIC AIOLI

Yields about 1 cup

1 whole egg
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
Kosher salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste

Blend the egg, lemon juice, and garlic using a food processor or immersion blender on low speed. Gradually increase the speed, streaming in the olive oil until the mixture thickens. Season with salt and pepper.

Store refrigerated in an airtight container.

GRAM PERKINS’ FOURTEEN-DAY PICKLES

2 gallons cucumbers—sliced into 1/4″ rounds
1 gallon water
1 pint salt

Alum
2 1/2 pints vinegar
4 quarts sugar
Pickling spice (see recipe below)
Canner and canning supplies

Wash cucumbers thoroughly and slice into approximately 1/4″ rounds.  Combine warm water and salt and let cool to create brine.  Place cucumbers into a ceramic pickle crock and cover with brine.  Let cucumbers and brine stand seven days, making sure that they are completely covered with brine. You can place a plate on top of the brine to make sure that all cucumbers remain below the water line.

Pour off brine and add 1 gallon water. Let stand 24 hours.

Pour off water and add 1 gallon fresh water and a lump of alum the size of a walnut. Let stand 24 hours.

Mix sugar, vinegar, and a handful of pickling spice. Boil 3 minutes. Pour over cucumbers.

Pour off the vinegar mixture (cucumbers remain in container), boil for 3 minutes, and pour back over cucumbers. Repeat this process each day for 4 days.

On the 5th day, boil the vinegar mixture for 5 minutes. While boiling, place cucumbers in sterilized jars. Pour hot vinegar mixture over and follow instructions for canning to create a seal on pickle jars. Label and store in a cool, dark place.

Note:  A half bushel of cucumbers makes approximately 2 1/2 gallons sliced cucumbers.  Yields approximately 16 pints of pickles.

PICKLING SPICE

2 tablespoons whole mustard seeds
1 tablespoon whole allspice berries
2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 bay leaves, crumbled
2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
6 whole cloves

Mix all ingredients together in a sterilized jar and store in a cool, dark place.

THE FACTORY CAFE MENU, Wednesday, March 19 – Tuesday, March 25:

WEEKLY SPECIAL
$12.95

Roasted zucchini, squash, and bacon crepes with house made ricotta,
topped with a mornay sauce and served with local greens

SAVORY
CHOOSE ONE FOR $9.95

Roasted tomato soup with homemade crème fraiche,
served with local greens and whole wheat sourdough toast

Belle Chevre goat cheese quiche, served with
roasted zucchini and squash, drizzled with olive oil

Homemade puff pastries with spinach and
house made ricotta, served with local greens

Gram Perkins’ egg salad sandwich,
served open-faced on whole wheat sourdough toast,
with honey crisp apples and local greens

When possible, we proudly serve organic and source our ingredients locally from Jack-o-Lantern Farm, Belle Chevre, and other purveyors.

Enjoy your lunch on exclusive Alabama Chanin @ Heath Ceramics dinnerware.

SIDES

House Made Granola
with local honey and Greek yogurt 4.50

Daily Assortment of Two Scones 4.50
(Made to order; please allow 20 minutes. Served hot.)

Whole Wheat Sourdough Toast
served with jam or local honey 2.95

Hard Boiled Farm Egg
with sea salt and cracked pepper, served with toast and greens 5.95

Side of Daily Grain or Local Green Salad 5.50

Egg Salad Sandwich
served open-faced 5.50

Grilled Cheese Sandwich 4.95

Cup of Soup
with toast 4.50

Bowl of Soup
with toast 6.50

Route 11 Potato Chips
your choice 1.50

SWEET

Chocolate Pots de Crème
topped with freshly whipped cream,
and served with a shortbread cookie 4.25

Tea Cakes
The classic cookies, topped with
house made buttercream frosting 3.95

Chocolate Crepes
filled with Zingerman’s cream cheese, topped with
chocolate ganache and powdered sugar 4.25

Three Chocolate Chip Cookies 2.95
(Made to order; please allow 10 minutes. Served hot.)

DRINKS

Mountain Valley Spring Water – flat or sparkling – individual size 1.90
Mountain Valley Spring Water – flat or sparkling – full bottle 3.75
Bottle Drinks – varieties change daily 1.90
Organic Iced Tea – sweet, unsweet, or half-and-half 1.90
Hot Tea – varieties 1.90
Drip Specialty Coffee 2.50
Espresso 2.50
Macchiato 3.00
Cappuccino 3.50
Café Latte 4.00

SPECIALTY SODAS

Lemon-Basil Soda 2.00

Handcrafted Pomegranate Soda
with Jack Rudy Grenadine and Blood Oranges 3.25

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3 thoughts on “GRAM PERKINS’ EGG SALAD + HOMEMADE PICKLES

  1. Neysa Powell

    I really enjoyed reading this! Memories of my mother and grandmother making these came flooding back…not to mention how it also made my mouth water. Good stories, good friends, good food – life cannot get much better than that. Thank you for sharing this.

    Reply
  2. Diane Vigna

    It just kills me that I can’t just run right down to the factory cafe when you post things like this. Thanks so much for the recipes. I’m going to make them very soon! Can’t wait!

    Reply

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