Archives for posts with tag: Pickling


Each week I harvest at least a bucket of cucumbers. Along with garlic, dill, and a 3% salt brine, into jars they go for lactic fermentation. This week I made a jar with blanched wax beans too. It has a cucumber in the middle for an extra boost of lactic acid producing bacteria. 

There are cucumbers in there. 
We’ve never had so much beautiful dill.  

The cucumber pickling season has begun. 

Our first harvest this summer.  

In the jars 
10 liters of cukes, dill, garlic, and other spices, covered with 10 liters of water with 300 gm salt (3%) mixed in, set to ferment for 5 weeks or more. 

I made a lot of lactic acid pickles this week so that I have more to sell at the autumn markets.

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Cucumbers, sauerkraut, kimchi and carrots.

Todays harvest;

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They get big so fast. I’ll have to pick more often.

More pickling tonight.

There is lots to harvest, eat, pickle and freeze now. Here’s the pickling we did the other day.

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I had to buy more jars for the cucumbers – all the old ones are already in use – and there are still a bunch of cukes waiting.

I had to buy organic carrots for the carrot pickles because mine are still too small. There is a recipe for pickling carrots in the blog I published on the 9th of January, earlier this year.

I still haven’t found the time to make a menu page on lactobacillus pickling. I’m waiting for a rainy day.

We have been parboiling beans for freezing these last few days too.

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Green beans, wax beans and flat beans.

After a week at the stone pounding course, I spent most of yesterday watering. It then rained 2 mm last night – just enough to aggravate the leaves. Nevertheless, the cucumbers have been growing and had accumulated.

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Time for pickling! And here’s todays result.

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There were a couple of variations this time. There were two white cucumbers. Odd. And one batch was made with cucumber slices, garlic, herbs and a chili peppar.

As usual I use the lactobacillus pickling method. There is a recipe in one of my blogs from about a year ago, but I will soon fix it as a page for easy access under the menu.

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This week’s pickling.

There are lots of cucumbers to harvest and preserve now. They are growing fast to the extent that I’ve had to throw many that were too big on the compost. We have also tried pickling shredded carrots which I haven’t done for years. I think we are approaching some sort of record.

These are sitting in a corner on the floor of the kitchen while the bacteria growth gets going for about ten days. Then they will be taken down to the food room in the cellar for storage and aging.

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Time to make sauerkraut. The summer cabbages I picked the other day started looking kind of ratty. So an evening sauerkraut session was in order.

Here’s what I use:
Cabbage
Salt
Caraway seeds
Juniper berries

Cabbage shredder
Scale
Stamper
Preserving jars
Etc

Now to the work:
– clean cabbages
– shred them
– weigh up one kilo
– mix in 15 grams seasalt (1.5%)
– put in crock and pound/press with stamper
– continue adding cabbage/salt mixture and stamping till all is softened
– mix in herbs and spices
– put in canning jars
– seal and label
– place in room temperature for 5 days
– then place in cool room
– ripe to eat after about 5 weeks

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Shredding

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Stamping

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Mixing salt

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Sealed for fermentation

This is a natural fermentation by lactic acid producing bacteria. Sauerkraut is traditional to eastern europe and asia and the national dish of Germany.

The most popular spice used is caraway seeds. We often make sauerkraut with the addition of only juniper berries, but many jars get different spicings. This batch has a couple of jars with caraway and garlic, and one jar is an experiment in kimchi making, where I mix the basic cabbage salt mash with shredded carrots, white radish, ginger, garlic, and red pepper. Other vegetables, herbs and spices can be added as well.

There are an infinite amount of variations to this recipe.

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Before and after pickling. This kind of cucumber is small and bitter. After pickling they become slightly salty with a delicious dill garlic flavor. And they keep for months.

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This what you need for pickling:
Cucumbers
Garlic cloves
Dill crowns
Mustard seed
Salt
Water
Pickling jars

How to do it:
– clean cukes, garlic and dill
– prick small holes in cukes with a knife
or fork
– put garlic, dill and mustard seed in jar
– stuff cucumbers in jar as tight as
possible
– mix salt into water figuring 30 grams
salt per liter water
– put salt water into jar covering
everything
– put on lid sealing it to keep air out
– label jar with date and type
– put in room temperature for two weeks
– then put in cool place for storage (like cellar)
– ready to eat after about 5 weeks

The temperatures are rather important. Here in Sweden the ambient temperatures are low. The first period in room temperature is around 20 C, but anything between 15 and 25 C will do it seems. I keep them in the kitchen in a corner on the floor covered with a towel to keep light out. Light kills bacteria. Then they go down to the basement food storage room where it’s dark and the temperatures vary between 10 to 15 C from winter to summer.

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Lactic acid pickling is an ancient method of food preservation and flavor enhancement. The salt concentration becomes about 1.5% which keeps microorganisms from growing but allows the lactic acid producing bacteria to thrive. The lactic acid acts as a preservative as well as adding a slightly sour punch to the flavor.

Where do these bacteria come from? They are all around us in the environment. In the air, in our food, on our skin etc. We wash the cucumbers to get the dirt off but even then there are enough bacteria left to propagate without competition because of the salty water. The other ingrediants also add to the bacteria count. The salt and the lactic acid preserve the cucumbers. I have had good tasting pickles over two years old.

Perhaps the best thing about lactic acid pickling is the flavor changes that come about. Now for a pickle sandwich.