Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Pickle Mania

It's that time of year, time for putting up the pickles.  We made some delicious cucumber chips last year, but only four pints, so there was no sharing going on with those.  Last week and today we made two more batches of these sweet and crunchy slices, and hopefully they will turn out as well as last year's edition.  

We begin with this bushel of Kirby Cucumbers.  Not local.  But not bad either.

Not sure why the Kirby is the recommended cucumber to make pickles with -  thin skins absorb the brine better is the only reason I can find.  The recipe I use is one I found online last year, which is pretty basic.

You - or someone you like - slices the cucumbers into fairly even slices, discarding the ends.

We came into work yesterday to do our second batch - we figured they could sit under their ice blanket overnight in the walk-in and we could finish them off today.  

The big bowl of sliced cukes is ready for salting.

Last batch, we simply left the salt on top and put the bed of ice over that.  This time we tossed the slices around a bit in the salt before we topped them with the ice...we'll see if there's any difference.

We bedded them down with ice and set them in the walk-in for the night.   Meanwhile, it's still our day "off"...

 Meaning it's time for the hammock, with the cat...

  ...and time for a swim with the dog.
Miraculously, the pickles got made this morning...although I again forgot to document the process from raw to jarred.  I'll try to slip those in next batch.  These won't win any prizes in the State Fair - they need to be meticulously placed in the jar for that - but with luck they will have that blue ribbon flavor we strive for!  We'll find out in about 2 weeks.

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