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Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Fermenting Pickles!


My garden got a late start this year, and I am just getting a few pickling cucumbers.  Not enough to can a batch, but enough to do a jar or two of fermented pickles. These taste a lot like the Claussen pickles you get in the refrigerated section at the grocery store. They are crispy and tastey!

Fermenting is rather easy, there are only a few things you need to be aware of.

1.  Keep the vegetables submerged in the salt water
2.  Fermentation can produce gases and there is a chance some liquid will bubble out.
3.  Make sure said gases can escape so you don't have any broken glass from pressure build up.
Fermented foods are very good for you. The natural process helps the good gut bacteria thrive. Digestion is better and you use your nutrients better!

This recipe is really simple. Pack your jar as tight as you can with cucumbers, dill and garlic. I used 4 cloves of a lovely garlic that was gifted to me. I used about a loose cup of dill. 
The salt you use can't be iodized, I use Redmond's salt, but you can use pickling salt or Himalayan pink salt. 

So I put 4 teaspoons salt per quart in warm water. Remember you won't need a whole quart of water, I usually do a little less than half a quart.  Make sure it dissolves. 
After packing your jar with cucumbers, dill and garlic, pour the water over the top and leave an inch of head space. 
To submerge the vegetables and herbs in the brine you will need a weight, I use a fermentation puck, but you could use a rock, a bag of pennies, anything to keep it submerged.
The top I use has a little nipple with a hole in it to let the built up gases escape. You can also loosen the lid every day, but I worry I won't remember so I use the fermentation top. 
Leave it on the counter for a few days, you will see it bubble up a bit, that means it's working.  During the summer it won't take all that long, maybe a week.  Nothing wrong with a taste test now and then to see when it gets to where you like it. 
After you are satisfied, keep the jar in the refrigerator. The cold will slow the ferment process, and you can actually put a normal lid on it.   

You can change it up and add onion, peppers, pepper corns, mustard seeds, what ever you like in  your pickles. 

If you don't have it all submerged you can get mold, if you do, throw it out and try again. 

Let me know how yours turned out!

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