Fermented Pickles


We finally have pickle fermentation success! I made my first batch of lacto-fermented pickles five years ago. I had total beginners luck and they were amazing. But, every time I've tried them since then, they have bordered on inedible. We've had to satisfy our cravings with Bubbies, which are delicious, but not at all easy on the pocketbook. Finally (finally!) we again have some good pickles stored up in the 'fridge and I am being a very stereotypical pregnant lady and consuming them with reckless abandon.

We didn't plant a garden this year, knowing that we were trying to get pregnant and how tricky that first trimester is for me, but Silas was so eager to put some seeds in the ground last spring. So, we planted just two little cucumber plants. Like all endeavors such as this, he took his job of cucumber care-taker very seriously; checking them frequently, watering when necessary (and according to him, it's always necessary) and deciding when each was "just right" and ready for picking. 

I followed the instructions in Wild Fermentation by Katz, which is a very useful resource and totally worth purchasing. Luckily, we have a wild grape vine growing along our fence line, so I was able to add some grape leaves to the brine to aid in maintaining crispiness, which I do think helped. I did a spicy batch, adding some red pepper flakes, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and some other spices I had in my cupboard (that I can't recall at the moment) and they are, by far, my favorite pickles. Yum. 

9 comments:

  1. I haven't tried planting cucumbers yet... maybe in next year's garden.

    I love how involved Silas is in gardening and "working" with you. My youngest is the same way.

    Thanks for sharing. I'll have to keep this in mind. I love my pickles too... especially on toast with peanut butter. (No I'm not pregnant). LOL

    Wishing you a lovely day.
    xoxo

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    1. Cucumbers are super easy to grow...go for it! I have never tried pickles on toast with peanut butter, but I am intrigued. ;)

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  2. My favorite go to book for fermenting. I love fermented pickles and fermented salsa is my favorite summer treat. This year I tried my hand at making fermented blueberry soda, it's not bad.

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    1. Oh, that soda sounds delicious, Tracey!

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  3. Pregnant?!? Oh, I guess I missed that! Congratulations! When are you due???
    We did lacto-fermeted pickled last summer and while I thought they were OK, my family did not enjoy them very much. Maybe I did something wrong, or maybe we all just needed different expectations. I hope to try again next year.

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    1. Thanks, Taryn! We're due the end of March. What a bummer that your family wasn't on board with the pickles! They are definitely an acquired taste. Maybe next year will be better. ;)

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  4. So the grape leaves really do help. That's great to know. I fermented so many pickles only to have them be all mushy I was so disappointed I haven't done it since.

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    1. We've had challenges with mushiness too. I do think the grape leaves help, but it's still really important to use small, young cukes that have been picked within the last 24 hours. I used some bigger, older ones in one batch and all the grape leaves in the world couldn't help them!

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    2. Oh! And make sure that you really scrape any remnants of the blossom off. The blossoms also cause mushiness.

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