Canning: Lauri Jo’s pickled green tomatoes

Lauri Jo Bennett's Green Tomato Pickles

Lauri Jo Bennett and her English Bulldogs, Rosie and Sarge.

Canning changed Lauri Jo Bennett’s life.

Lauri Jo, of Norman Park, Ga., left her teaching job in 2009 and started her own business, specializing in Southern style canning. A few days after her first jar labels arrived she won Best of the National Gourmet Food Show at the Atlanta Mart for her Green Tomato Pickles (RECIPE below). In 2014 her success led her to the Food Network stage at the Atlanta International Gift and Home Furnishings Market.

A family meal without Lauri Jo’s Pickled Okra makes it feel like a family member is missing

Lauri Jo’s jars are on the shelves of Whole Foods Stores and will be in Kroger stores. A large US map hangs on the wall by her desk with push pins identifying all the locations in 41 states that now carry her products.

Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black said, “A family meal without Lauri Jo’s Pickled Okra makes it feel like a family member is missing.”

All of this success hasn’t spoiled Lauri Jo, who describes herself as a “South Georgia Girl.”

“There is nothing any better to me than going out and picking fresh vegetables early in the morning, working all day putting them up or preserving them, and then cooking that big fresh supper that evening,” she says.

A former special education teacher and mother of two, Lauri Jo employs special needs students in her canning business. Her husband Mike has now joined her in the family business.

Lauri Jo also supports other South Georgia gourmet food purveyors. Her Thirteen Colony Southern Corn Whiskey Pepper Jelly is the product of collaboration between Lauri Jo and a craft distillery in Americus, Ga. Lauri Jo said her pepper jellies are her most popular items. Her pineapple, blueberry and muscadine pepper jellies have also won awards.

This bright, talented and entrepreneurial woman is a graduate of the University of Georgia. Her two English Bulldogs are named Rosie and Sarge.

Lauri Jo’s Deviled Eggs with Green Tomato Pickles

  • 1 dozen eggs
  • ½ (16 oz) jar Lauri Jo’s Green Tomato Pickles, chopped
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • ½ teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika, for garnish
  • Parsley sprigs, for garnish

Boil eggs for 8-10 minutes. Remove eggs from boiling water and place in a bowl of ice water. Once cooled, remove eggs and peel. Set aside on paper towels to remove excess moisture. On clean cutting board, cut eggs in half lengthwise. Remove egg yolk and place in a bowl. Rinse eggs under lukewarm water to clean and again place eggs upside down on a paper towel to remove excess moisture. Add green tomato pickles, mayonnaise, mustard, celery salt, salt and pepper to egg yolks and mix lightly and thoroughly. Spoon yellow egg mixture into egg whites. Sprinkle with paprika and garnish with small parsley sprig. Place on a platter and serve. (from Lauri Jo’s Southern Style Cookbook)

Green Tomato Pickles are available in stores and at Lauri Jo’s website.

Lauri Jo’s Southern Style Canning
4428 U.S. Hwy 319
Norman Park, Ga. 31771
“Preserving the South one jar at a time”

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