Monday, August 04, 2008

The Pickles Are Pickling!

Our pickles have now been fermenting for one full week and two days.

We've run into a couple setbacks already, though. Our original thrift store find crock had a crack in it, and after the first night of pickling there was a moist layer of saltwater on both the protective towel covering the crock and on the countertop. So we bought a new crock at my favorite store, Downtown Home and Garden. This new crock is a classic and something we will hold onto for years to come. Strangely enough, though, it too sweats the salt water from its insides! Perhaps these cucumbers are feeling effervescent with their change to immortal pickle, splashing their bathwater around in an excited flurry.

We were inclined to grab another batch of Farmer's Market cucumbers since this new crock was oh so large. We decided that it would be a brilliant idea to start the new batch by adding the old batch in with it. This help to jumpstart the fermentation process, right? Well, with the new batch, we absentmindedly used hard water. Now we aren't sure if the tap water that we've used is going to obliterate any good bacteria that may have already been flourishing. The minerals and chlorine that is added into our normal tap water will actually kill enzymes that the cucumbers naturally produce as they are fermenting. Just an FYI tidbit, this also happens to the intestinal flora that grow in our bodies, too. That's one reason fermented foods are so highly regarded in our day and age.

In this little pickle pot we have a salt water bath, dill, grape leaves (to keep the pickles crunchy), garlic, and peppercorns. We haven't deviated from the rules here too much yet. More variations on pickles to come!
See the recipe for this simple pickle adventure here, with one of my favorite authors.

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