A journey in words...

Welcome to my journey in words! A story about health, exercise, weight loss, food addiction, humor, size discrimination, sarcasm, social commentary and all the rest that’s rattling around inside my head...

I now twit, er... or tweet. Anyway, you can follow me on twitter @Aeon1202

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Making Pickles

At the farmer's market this morning I found these cool multi-hued peppers - I'm including a picture simply because they're pretty.

My find for the week though was actually these cute little Kirby cucumbers that I noticed are the exact same size and shape as the delicious, crisp, garlic soaked half-sour pickles I like to buy at the Amish market near work. So I grabbed a pint intent on making them myself at home.

Cucumber shown here with my hand for size reference:

Looking up a recipe online I found there really wasn't much to making half sours, considering how much they go for when purchased on a store. The instructions said to dissolve 1/4 of a cup of kosher salt per 3 cups of water. I did 6 cups of water, thus 1/2 cup of kosher salt. The salt, thanks to Alton Brown, is something I always have on hand.

I made sure all the salt was well dissolved in the water before proceeding by stirring the crap out of it - then took a quick taste to make sure it was salty enough. Boy howdy, it reminded me of the salt water my mom used to make me gargle when I was a kid to ease sore throats - just not disgustingly warm.

The recipe called for six garlic cloves, which I sliced to make sure all the oils could get out into the brine. It also called for pickling spices which I don't have in my kitchen - so, I just didn't worry about it. I tend to be an off the cuff cook, diversion from recipes does not scare me.

I packed my Kirby's into a glass jar that used to hold (surprise surprise) pickles. I frequently argue with Ted about his need to keep every glass jar or foam mushroom container that makes it's way through our kitchen, so before he'd give this one back to me he made me say "Ted I'm so glad you kept this glass jar so I can use it now."

Anyway I packed in the cucumbers and loaded the sliced garlic into the jar - then poured the brine I'd made over top until the jar was full.

The problem is that the little buggers float - so I filled another small plastic container with plain water, capped it and used it to weigh them down. The smallness of the container still leaves room around the mouth of the pickle jar for my tiny green monsters to breathe.

Now? I wait. About three to four days. The instructions said to just leave them out on the counter uncovered so they can ferment. I admit this made me slightly nervous but I know what a good preservative salt is, so as long as they stay submerged I think they should be fine.

Come Tuesday after a chill in the fridge, I should have my own home made half sour pickles!


  1. Pickling spices:

    I always remember the all spice and mustard seeds floating at the top. I'm sure you have some of those things (just a little of each) at home.


  2. Now that I've made lots of salsa, I've been thinking of pickling some of my leftover banana peppers.

    Oh, and speaking of peppers, I think your multi-hued ones are regular red peppers which aren't fully ripe. That's what ours look like a few days before they turn completely red.

    Anyway, enjoy the pickles!