Cucumber Week! Recipe: Lacto-fermented pickles…

It’s that time of year again – Cucumbers are in season, and are in abundance in our CSA box, and even in my garden! After a year in my garden when all my (3) cucumber plants died, and we hadn’t bought a share in a CSA, because so confident was I that I could grow EVERYTHING (lesson learned. Interdependence = good), I had been missing cucumbers. Then I remembered back to two summers ago, when our CSA box was so heavy with cucumbers. It is fast approaching that time again!

Don’t get me wrong – I love cukes. But, there’s only so many of the typical ‘cucumber salad’ I can eat, and that my family will eat.

So, what to do?

I opened up my ‘Ball Blue Book of Canning’, and mulled the option. I tried brining with some farmer’s market cukes last year. But, it didn’t go so well. I thought maybe this years I’d can dill pickles.

After hauling up my water-bath canner, my canning box, jars – I was already exhausted. Canning, around here, gets done AFTER the kids are asleep, and when the house is a little cooler. Was pickling cukes into the wee hours of the night going to be a good option, if toting a few jars up the stairs already winded me? Nah….

Lacto-fermented pickles can be made in a jar, though — I googled a recipe and came across a lovely site that had a recipe that I used. I tried one this afternoon, and while it had absorbed some flavor, and was a little softer, it still had a crunch. I think by tomorrow at this time, they’ll be perfect and ready to go in the fridge. Its very simple: spices go in empty jar, ends are cut off smallish cukes and put in jar tightly, brine is boiled, cooled, and added to the jar, and I topped the works with a horseradish leaf as a ‘cap’ to keep out air, though I did also put the jar top on, and just gave it one turn, so it wouldn’t be air-tight. Sometimes gasses and liquids may escape during the 2 – 3 day fermenting process, so you might want to play it safe and tuck them in an ice cream bucket or left-over salad shell.

Lacto-fermentation provides good probiotics to your system, which keeps just about everything running smoothly. I feel that, at this time in my life, not only do I need all the good bugs I can get, but I also need time to sleep, and not can stuff that I only eat occasionally (like pickles).

Once they’re done, I plan to make a recipe from my mom’s group cookbook: Pickle dip! Simple – just throw a brick (or two) of cream cheese in a blender or food processor, then add pickles, and a little of the pickle brine’. I think this would also work with yogurt (probably the thicker Greek yogurt would be better) and/or sour cream. Yum – awesome with homemade thick cut fries!

3 thoughts on “Cucumber Week! Recipe: Lacto-fermented pickles…

  1. inherchucks says:

    Thanks for the tips. Will have to give this a try with my next round of cukes 🙂

    Come and link up when you get a chance… See you there!

  2. Matthew I says:

    It’s not going to surprise you that I think this is brilliant. I eat pickles as a snack all the time, and there’s nothing like having them from your own kitchen, especially if you don’t have to do a huge batch! Could you point us at the recipe you used?

Comments are appreciated, and help us all learn more. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s