Friday, August 3, 2012
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?