One of the things I made time for last summer was learning how to make kosher-style pickled cucumbers in brine. I love pickles, and love knowing that there is some health benefit to the living finished product. Plus, what better way is there to take advantage of summer’s precious abundance of organic local produce than to preserve it?? Exactly.
I was intimidated by pickling for years, but I have happily learned that as with most things, there is no one right way to do it, though there are some excellent guidelines.
For recipes and thoughts, check out my friends at www.wellpreserved.ca . Tellingly, they have MULTIPLE pickled cucumber recipes on their site. This one http://wellpreserved.ca/how-to-make-sour-pickles-i-e-fermented-cucumbers/ is a good starting point.
Of course seasonings vary with individual tastes and family traditions. My seasonings of choice were simple: bay leaves, whole peppercorns, whole, peeled garlic cloves, and lots of fresh dill.
My first jar of finished pickles fermented for 9 days and they were the most delicious pickles I’ve ever eaten.
Seriously. It could be the psychological satisfaction of having made them myself, or they could just be amazing. I can’t say for sure, though my guests over that weekend all agreed with me. For the second batch, I tried using the traditional grape leaves for tannins, rather than oak leaves, but found this resulted in less crunchy pickles. Maybe it is my affinity for trees coming out, but, oak leaves make really good pickles for me.
This year’s early batch fermented for about 4 days, and was given high praises by all who were lucky enough to taste them.
A friend asked me how long they will keep for once in the fridge. I had to say, I have no idea, personally, as in my house, they don’t last long enough to find out!
Try making traditional kosher-style pickles this month. It is way easier than you think, and the results are deliciously satisfying that way only a good pickle can be.
Yours in pickle appreciation,