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Pickling day

These are half-gallon jars.

I wanted to make some no-heat, no-cook pickles to be eaten within the next few weeks as opposed to being preserved for the winter. This is an easy process, because the canning process is unnecessary — there is no need to use a water-bath canner or a pressure cooker. I also wanted to ferment some pickles naturally without using vinegar.

The abbey garden is providing cucumbers for the table, but not enough for putting up pickles. So I bought half a bushel of beautiful fresh-picked cucumbers from a farmer who lives just north of here. The cost was $15 for the half bushel.

To further reduce the amount of work, I used half-gallon wide-mouth jars. For about two hours’ work, I ended up with three gallons of pickles.

Two gallons of the pickles involved nothing more than a vinegar solution poured over the packed pickle jars, with some spices. They should be ready to eat in two or three days. The process for the fermented pickles is to fill the jars with brine on top of the packed cucumbers, spices, and a few grape leaves. They’ll take a month or so to ferment before they’re ready to eat. I used airlock caps that I bought from Amazon. The airlock caps allow fermentation gases to escape but keep outside air from getting in, reducing the risk of mold.

Though pickle cucumbers are supposed to be able to take the heat of the canning process, still I like the idea of pickles that have never been heated. They should be nice and crisp.


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