Pickling

I made pickles for the first time last week (amazing how one can live without such basic skills these days).  Leaning on Preserving Food without Freezing or Canning, I tossed my cucumbers with salt, fresh dill (gone to seed) and sugar; then I covered them in boiled vinegar and water (equal parts).  The dill and my choice of apple cider vinegar were both deviations from the recipe.  After they cooled, I put the jars in the refrigerator, waited a week and then ate them.

The whole jar.

I was pretty pleased with the pickling.  The consistency and taste were an odd combination of bread-and-butter and dill.  The same night I also broke into the sauerkraut I put away late last year.  Unlike the pickles, the sauerkraut was naturally fermented – only salt, cabbage and a few bay leaves went into it.  The flavor was more complex than your standard sauerkraut, but not quite right.  I believe it may have spent too much time fermenting, and I know  juniper berries would have been a more traditional flavoring.

I’m still eager to try genuine, naturally fermented dill pickles – perhaps that’s my next project.  Of course, the big question is: how many jars?

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5 thoughts on “Pickling

  1. Nice! I am making fermented pickles for the first time (first time pickling anything, really) this year. They smell fantastic. Sauerkraut is next up, sometime this week … I just have to find a big enough container.

  2. Here’s the pickle recipe:
    cucumbers
    1 1/2 tbls. salt
    1 1/2 tbls. sugar
    dill
    2-3 garlic cloves
    one small onion, finely chopped
    2 cups vinegar

    In a clean, one-quart canning jar, combine all of the ingredients, except vinegar. Boil equal parts water and vinegar and then pour this into the jar, while still hot. Close the jar immediately.

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