Pickles!

3 06 2010

pickle ingredients

In a CSA box a few weeks ago I got one giant Armenian cucumber (seriously, it was longer than my children were when they were born*) and a big bunch of dill, so I figured it was a Sign to make pickles. So I Googled it, trying to keep specific to Armenian cucumbers, so I didn’t screw anything up starting with a recipe intended for actual pickling cukes. I found this one** called, “Speed Pickles,” and was only slightly disappointed to discover it doesn’t actually call for speed. It did, however, call for grape or oak leaves which presented a slight problem since stores don’t sell these (not even grape leaves, which is stupid) and I couldn’t identify an oak leaf if my life depended on it (and grape leaves don’t grow just anywhere – or if they do, I can’t recognize those, either). Luckily, I whined about this at park day and a friend offered me some leaves from her own grape vines! Win!

armenian cucumber & peeled garlic

So Margie and I set to it. It involved putting the ingredients in a jar. Honestly, it took longer to take photos than it did to make the pickles. I mean, unless you count the 4-7 days the jar has to sit on your counter while it ferments.

pickles, pickling

About three days into it, I heard a hissing coming from the jar. Originally, I thought it was coming from the fridge and I called the landlord. But then I realized my pickles were carbonated and forcing small amounts of air out of the canning lid. It’s a good thing my landlord never bothered calling back. Or something. Anyway, visions of exploding glass jars filled my mind and I unscrewed the lid and just left the circle part on (you know how canning lids are, right?). Many people ferment veggies and other stuff without lids – the essential part is that the food is all under the liquid. This is part of the purpose of the grape leaves, but people use other things as a weight to hold the food down, too, like a baggie filled with water or a smaller jar. I used a dunker which I got on Etsy in a batch of seconds so they were super cheap (and quite pretty).

pickles, pickled

I let them sit a bit longer on the counter and then finally put them in the fridge. Originally, I planned to let them sit longer, but I felt like it would be a better ending to this blog entry if I ate some so I threw them on a turkey burger patty and took a picture. They were quite bitter and not tangy. I am not yet sure if this is because they aren’t totally done yet, or if it’s because I used too much dill (b/c Lord only knows what a “head” of dill equals…. Well, Lord and maybe some more experienced chefs). So I’ll update eventually with results and I’ll blog more about my adventures in fermenting as I get into it more (or, you know, I won’t, if it turns out to be uninteresting or boring or ugly).

pickles, eaten!

*Actually, this might be a lie since I never measured the cucumber. You could probably estimate how long it was from the photo, but I am loads too lazy for that shit. Let me know what you find out.
**I didn’t use vinegar in my recipe. FYI/


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4 responses

3 06 2010
clearheart

Did you taste the cuke before you pickled it? Cause it might have been bitter. Esp. if it was so big.

3 06 2010
ZebraBelly

Yeah. Actually, it was so big it didn’t even fit in the jar so we finished the rest for dinner. It was really good. According to the Googling I’ve done, they continue to change flavor for at least a couple of weeks and I may have put them in the fridge too early b/c I was too nervous about them going bad.

3 06 2010
Nancy S

I love pickles! Especially “quick” ones. You can do a recipe search for all kinds of “quick pickles” that are ready within a week or two. I used to pickle garlic; it was great to have on hand.

10 06 2010
Katherine

Bonnie, I made an insane amount of pickles last year, because along with gluten and dairy, Andrew also can’t have white vinegar (which is in most pickles). I have a handful of recipes for bread n’ butter pickles and one for refrigerator pickles – that are good. Let me know if you want them and I can email them your way.

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