- 2 quart kirby cucumbers (approximately 3 pounds)
- 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar or white vinegar 5% acidity
- 1 1/2 cups filtered water
- 2 tablespoons pickling salt
- 8 garlic cloves, peeled
- 4 teaspoons dill seed
- 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
Wash jars thoroughly in warm, soapy water. If you plan on making shelf stable pickles, prepare a boiling water bath canner. Put fresh canning jar lids into a small saucepan with 3 inches of water and set to the barest simmer.
Wash and dry kirby cucumbers. Remove blossom end. Cut into chips, spears or leave whole, depending on your preference.
Combine vinegar, water and salt in saucepan and bring to a boil.
Equally divide garlic cloves, dill seed, black peppercorns and red chili flakes between jars. Pack prepared cucumbers into jars as tightly as you can without crushing them.
Pour the brine into the jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace (that's the amount of space between the surface of the brine and the rim of the jar).
Remove any air bubbles from jars by gently tapping them. You can also use a wooden chopstick or plastic utensil to help remove stubborn bubbles.
Wipe rims and apply lids and bands (don't screw them on too tightly).
If processing jars for shelf stability, lower jars into your processing pot. When water returns to a boil, set a timer for 10 minutes.
When time is up, remove jars from canning pot and allow them to cool. When jars are cool enough to handle, check seals.
If you choose not to process your jars, let them cool before putting them into the refrigerator. Do note that your jars may seal during the cooling process. However, without the boiling water bath process, that doesn't mean they're shelf stable. Still refrigerate.
Let pickles rest for at least one week before eating.
Bread and Butter pickles
- 4 cups thickly sliced pickling cucumbers (8 to 10 pickling cucumbers)
- 1 cup sliced red bell peppers (about 1 small)
- 1 cup sliced onion (about 1 medium)
- 2 tablespoons pickling salt
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon mustard seed
- 1 teaspoon celery seed
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Prepare two pint jars and a small canning pot. Combine the sliced cucumbers, bell peppers, onion, and pickling salt in a colander set in a large bowl. Refrigerate for one hour to remove excess liquid. Rinse vegetables and discard liquid.
Combine the vinegar and sugar in a large pot. Heat over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Add the mustard seed, celery seed, red pepper flakes and cloves. Increase the heat to high and bring the brine to a boil.
Add the drained vegetables and stir to combine. Cook for 5 minutes, until all the vegetables in the brine are fully heated through. Using tongs, fill the sterilized jars with the vegetables. Slowly pour the hot brine over the vegetables in each jar, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
Gently tap the jars on a towel-lined countertop to help loosen any bubbles before using a wooden chopstick to dislodge any remaining bubbles. Check the headspace again and add more brine if necessary.
Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Let these pickles cure for at least 48 hours before eating.
Small Batch Kraut
- 1 small cabbage (approximately 2 pounds)
- 2% salt brine
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds (optional)
Remove core from cabbage. Cut in half and finely shred.
Place cut cabbage in your crock or jars and pour brine over it. Be sure to mix.
When the volume of cabbage appears to have reduced by half, add the caraways seeds and work them in.
Pack the salted cabbage into the quart jar in layers, firmly pressing it down each time before adding more (the entire 2 pounds of cabbage should fit into a quart jar).
Press cabbage down firmly in the jar, so that liquid bubbles up over the surface of the jar.or add the weights if using a crock.
Loosely cap the jar and place it in a cool, dark spot.
Check every other day, removing any bloom and pressing cabbage down if it has floated above the liquid (be warned, it will be a bit stinky. That’s normal)
After two weeks, taste the sauerkraut. If you like the flavor, place the jar in the refrigerator. If you want something a bit stronger, let it continue to ferment until it pleases you.
Lacto Fermented Pickles
- 2 quarts of 3.5% salt brine.
- 4-6 grape, oak, or horseradish leaves
- 6-9 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 large heads of dill
- Spices to taste: black peppercorns, red pepper flakes, mustard seeds, etc. (Secret ingredient: for an extra bite, add a few strips of fresh horseradish to the spice mix!)
- Enough pickling cucumbers to fill a ½-gallon jar
Make a brine
In a half-gallon jar add a couple of the tannin-containing leaves, a few cloves of garlic, the heads of dill, and ? of the spices.
Pack half of the cucumbers tightly on top of the spices. (The longest ones work best at the bottom.)
Repeat a layer of leaves, garlic, and spices. Add another tightly packed layer of cucumbers and top them off with more garlic and spices.
Pour the brine over the pickles, leaving 1-2 inches of headspace. Place another tannin-containing leaf on top of the pickles as a cover between the pickles and the surface of the brine. Use a fermentation weight to keep the pickles under the liquid, if necessary..
Ferment at room temperature (60-70°F is preferred) until desired flavor and texture are achieved. If using a tight lid, burp daily to release excess pressure. The brine should turn cloudy and bubbly, and the pickles should taste sour when done.
Eat right away, or store in a refrigerator or root cellar for months and enjoy them all winter long.