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.