Friday, August 27, 2010

Garden update - pickling things

This year's garden is all about learning. I've been enjoying a few fruits of my labors, despite the weird weather this summer.

We've had lots of Yellow beans, too many spaghetti squash, and a few new red potatoes.

More yellow beans, eatin' cucumbers, and a few precious tomatoes

And a bushel of pickling cucumbers!

The pickling cukes have been coming along all month, but even when small they were starting to turn white. I thought that meant they needed to stay on the vine, but they just got bigger and bigger. Today I went out and picked them all, and many were HUGE. None ever got that nice dark green color I wanted to see. So I went ahead and picked out the greenest, smallest of the bunch, and set them up to ferment. I really wanted to brine some pickles this year, I planted them with that in mind.

I have a food-safe bucket, and cleaned the pickles, removed the blossom ends, and weighted them down in the brine with a plate. Now I just need to clear the scum off the top every day or so until they stop bubbling, and I should have pickles. I'm a skeptic - maybe people have been doing this for 10,000 years, but I still need to see it for myself!

I think the rest of the oversize cukes will go on the compost heap. They are too big and seedy, and they'll just get soft if I try to pickle them. It's my own fault for not knowing when to pick them, or maybe it was just the weather this year.

Maybe I can still get some smaller cukes at the farmers market. I did that earlier this summer, picked up some from Hermiston, Oregon, and made quick kosher dills, and I just opened them this week and they taste delicious!

 And don't they look pretty?

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