A Publication of WTVP

Preserving & Pickling

Kathy's Kitchen is home to the area's finest homemade pickles, relishes, jams and jellies.
by Peoria Magazine |
Kathy's Kitchen

by Jonathan Wright

Located amidst the fertile black soil of Cass County, Kathy’s Kitchen is a small, family-operated processing facility that specializes in pickles, salsas, relishes and sauces, as well as jams, jellies, preserves and fruit butters. “Everything is made right here in Virginia, Illinois,” explains Kathy Keylor, who operates the business with her husband Daryl. “Small batches and attention to detail ensure homemade quality in every jar.”

The Keylors raise cucumbers, peppers, green beans and asparagus in their own garden. “Everything we raise goes into a jar of pickled product,” Kathy notes. “Local orchards are a great source for fruit, and the Mason County pumpkin growers supply pumpkins for pumpkin butter.”

The business traces its roots to the early 1960s, when an old family recipe for pickled beets earned Kathy the first of many blue ribbons at the Illinois State Fair. That same recipe is still used today to make their popular Beet Pickles. Having expanded their planting of asparagus in 2020, they expect to plant more pickling cucumbers this year, along with over 300 jalapeño plants. “Keeping these crops picked and pickled will definitely keep us busy this summer!” kathyskitchenstore.comPM