Friday, August 3, 2012

Quick Pickles





July and August, when daily temperature is above 40C, gardening is put on hold. The only "gardening" I do during this hot months is sprouting and micro greens. Luckily, a unique micro climate of the Ozark Mountains keeps somewhat reliable supply of cucumbers and tomatoes, and other vegetables at the local Farmer's Market. I bought some cucumbers to make a quick pickles, that Mr. I.V. has been asking for quite some time. I make it old fashioned way, using just water, salt and spices. Then I leave it to ferment for 3-4 days, and it's ready to eat. 
I remember when I lived with my parents, my mother  would make a 3 liters (a little under a gallon) jar early in the morning, put it outside, and then she came back from work, pickles would be ready to eat.  Mother calls it "young pickles" because they haven't developed enough sourness. The longer you leave pickles to ferment in the brine, the more sour they become. 




For the brine I use my mother's recipe: 30 gram (2 tablespoons) of sea salt (or pickling salt) diluted in 1 liter of water. 
To keep pickles crunchy I wash them, then place in a container with icy cold water in refrigerator overnight. On the bottom of the jar place dill seeds, garlic cloves, bay leaf, coriander seeds, black pepper, and any other spices you like: experiment and improvise! 




Then add the cucumbers, and pour the brine over it to cover the cucumbers. Taste the cucumbers next day, then day after that, and then day after that again. Enjoy them as they ferment, then after a week move  (if you have something left) the jar to refrigerator to slow down fermentation.




Basil seems to like hot weather: this bouquet I cut today from my garden. I let it dry, although I've never dried Thai basil before.  Have you?




See you,
Marina

47 comments:

  1. Gorgeous pickles! I've actually never made the brined variety although I do pickle a good deal... add it to the list of cooking projects :)

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    1. Thanks! I actually prefer fermenting method to many others because it's one of the safest and tastiest (to me) :)

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  2. Hello Marina, I am in love with your pictures!
    Oh how I wish I could reach through my screem and have a piece
    My mum makes them the exact way but she adds 1/4 cup of vinegar to each liter of water and I LOVE the fact that you can get your pickles in a week

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    1. Thank you Sawsan! 1/4 cup of vinegar per liter? Interesting, I need to try it too. Does she leaves it to ferment at the room temperature?

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  3. Yummy!!!! I love pickles and yours look so tempting!!!

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  4. You know, come to think of it, I haven't ever dried Thai basil! Will you let us know how it goes? :)

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    1. I can tell you it smells good each time I go by. I think I walked by a few extra times just to smell it. I hope it keeps the smell after it dries. :)

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  5. Your pickles do look crunchy and so delicious!

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  6. Marina, your pickles are so amazing, crunchy and very addictive. Love the method of the brine from your mom. I would dive into that pickle jar and literally eat half of them. Love, homemade pickles! Great photos, as well:D

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    1. Thank you Elisabeth! I agree with you: homemade pickles are the best, and worth all the work (like waiting) :)

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  7. Humm, no vinegar in the brine? What a unique idea, and they look delicious. I'll have to give them a try.

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    1. No vinegar in the brine, just salt and water. Fermentation does the rest... :) Thanks Linda for your comment! :)

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  8. Aa, Marina - your pictures are always just so lovely and fresh! I would love to try these sometime, they look like the best kind of pickle. :)

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    1. Thank you Bou Shin for your kind comment! :)

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  9. This sounds like a wonderful and easy way to prepare pickles, Marina. I happen to love them but have found that when I preserve them, some of the "crunch" goes away. And I detest a crunchless pickle! So, it's refrigerator pickles for me and your recipe is one that I would enjoy, especially the part about letting them ferment until their taste suits me. Yum!

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    1. John, to "preserve" the crunchiness, soak your cucumbers in the icy cold water. Tell you what: buy a few pickles, almost wilted, and place it in a container with the icy cold water overnight and see what happens. You'll be surprised to find your cucumbers extra crunchy next day. I do it with cucumbers when I make salads too as often they come less that fresh and crunchy... :)

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    2. Thanks, Marina. I've used an ice bath to restore limp lettuce but never cucumbers. I will now!

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  10. Thank you so much for this! I can't wait to have excess cucumber to start pickling, bring on summer.

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    1. I can't say the same: our cucumber season is long over, maybe we'll have some in the fall again. Good luck with your harvest! :)

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  11. What gorgeous looking pickles. I love how you presented them for the photos - just lovely. And I keep hearing what a hot summer you're having. It sounds like it's been a very long heatwave. Love the fresh basil! xx

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    1. Yes, we are in the midst of hot-hot months with no gardening and no fresh produce... You are right, it's an extended heat wave... Thanks for your comment! :)

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  12. I've always wanted to try making my own pickles but I thought it would be difficult. Thank you for showing how easy it can be. :)

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    1. It is very easy, Vanessa. Just be patient... :)

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  13. These look fantastic - gorgeous colours... I can just imagine that kind of salty crunch they must have at the end. Absolutely adore pickles... we've been making some recently where you chop up veg in a bag, add some salt and spices and smush it around and then leave it for a few hours... makes a good snack. Need to get a hold of some of these small cucumbers, love them so much!

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    1. I need to try that snack of yours, I would love that!

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  14. I've never made pickles! How can I have lived so long without doing this? And your method is so easy - I'm going to have to give it a try. Our cukes are giving out (heat finally did them in) and our basil isn't doing at all well this year. Tomatoes are going crazy, though, so we're not starving. ;-) Nice post - thanks.

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    1. Thank you John! You can ferment tomatoes too, I am actually going to post on that too, using another mother's recipe... :)

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  15. I haven't made pickles for 20 years but these look fantastic! I've never dried herbs ever. shame on me.

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    1. Lol, you do many other things Maureen, and do it brilliantly! :) I prefer dried herbs for its fragrant aroma. I don't smell it in frozen herbs, so I do it old fashioned way. :)

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  16. Oh I love your mother's name for 'young pickles', that's so sweet. The pickling revival is only just taking off here in the UK (we're more into jams and chutneys) - my mum loves cucumbers so I might trying making a jar using this post as a gift to her. Thanks.

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    1. Let me know how it goes, and good luck! :)

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  17. I soooo love them. I can see that you have one jar with chillies. Bravo, they are the best ;-)

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    1. Thanks Joanna! I actually have both jars with chilies, love a bit of spice in it! :)

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    2. Me too:-) chillies give those cucumbers a little kick;-)

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    3. A little or a lot of kick! :) I think I over-kicked one jar! :)

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  18. Ohhh it'S been a while since I made pickles... Love it! Yours looks awesome!

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  19. These pickles really look great! Love it!

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    1. Thanks Asmita for your kind comment! :)

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  20. Fresh and beautiful photos my friend,those pickles look divine :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  21. I cook everything with basil lately, very fresh taste! Your photos look amazing!

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    1. I just went back in my little garden, and there is more basil, so I will cook with basil tonight again! I love basil. :)Thanks for comments on photos, I used links you e-mailed me some time ago. Thanks! :)

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  22. I am going to try this! They look fabulous :)

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  23. Lovely quick pickles makes ones tastebuds alive and active.

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Your warm comments put a smile on my heart.