Monday, July 26, 2010

News from Pickle Central

Out of all the things I can each year (23 quarter-pints, 62 half-pints, 71 pints, 25 quarts in 2009, just in case you were wondering), I love pickles the most.  Dill pickles, specifically.  Cucumber pickles, green bean pickles, okra pickles, carrot pickles- I love them all.

It's amazing how just a few simple ingredients can transform these vegetables into amazing salty-tart treats.  And this year I have a couple of new developments in my pickling process.  And so many cucumbers I can barely keep up.

1.  Parisian Pickling Cucumber plants (seeds from Seed Saver's Exchange)
If there's anything better than a gigantic super-tart pickle, it's a little teeny tiny pickle.  Cornichons definitely win the award for most adorable pickles and I'm really excited to be harvesting enough to can.  These are kind of weird looking, compared to regular pickling cucumbers- long and spindly with very dense spines that need to be rubbed off.

2.  Crazy amounts of dill
I might have gone a bit overboard with the dill planting this year, but last year I had to buy some dill because I ran out for pickling and didn't get to dry much either.  It's just silly to have a garden and buy dill.  Pure silliness.  So this year I have a field of dill.

3.  A Chinese pickling jar
I need another crock in my kitchen like I need a hole in the head, but I considered this different enough to justify clearing off some counter space.  My coworker found these online and we shared some shipping costs to get them- they're genius!  No more scum/mold/yeast/stuff on top of my pickles because the glass lid inverts on the top and sits in a rim of water- this keeps out the nasty microorganisms without sealing the air inside the jar...It escapes with a little burping sound!  The shape of the jar helps keep the pickles under the brine, too.  So I'm splitting my cukes between fermented pickling and vinegar pickling.

4.  A prickly cucumber rash
I think sticking my arms into a huge mess of cucumber vines every day is really irritating my skin!  I get really itchy for an hour or so after harvesting!  It's true that pickling cucumbers have really plentiful spines/hairs.  I guess they're just bothering me more this year.  I'm thinking about using long dishwashing gloves when I pick!
I'll spare you a photo of my itchy forehead from this afternoon's harvest.


Anonymous said...

Oh have me drooling :-) I *love* dill pickles! And dill! I am jealous of your garden and your pickling knowledge, lol.


Catherine said...

Pickles are one of our favorites, too. I need to get busy and make some refrigerator pickles!

Bob said...

Would you post your source (or at least the name) of those cool pickling crocks?

Stacy said...

Yes, I am with Bob--more info on how to order those crocks, please!! Thanks in advance.

miss v said...

yum, i want some. i love that pickling jar!

Jen said...

What size Chinese pickling jar did you get? Which one works better for most of the usual recipes (for dill cucumber pickles of course)?

Liz said...

Just posted the link to the pickling jar in a blog post following this one. I got the 85 oz jar. Enjoy!

Pamela Batchelor said...

I am searching for this Chinese pickle jar on line and cannot find it. Please yell me where you found this on line. I see one like it from The Wok Shop but reviews complain about the thin glass. Do you have a comment? Thank you.