“…and bitterness. And a wandering eye, and cucumbers in my head.
Don’t you remember?”
Yes kids. Today we’re gonna learn how to pickle our own cucumbers. “Why?” you might ask.. Well it’s so that when the war & famine breaks out, you’ll have some pickled cucumbers to suck on while you’re hiding in your basement, listening to the bombs fall over the city. The screams of fright and terror from your neighbors might seem disturbing, but you won’t mind, because:
You’ve got pickles! (yay)
Like I’ve mentioned in a previous post: we’re travelling at the moment, so this is a draft that I wrote before we left the rathole we call home.
For this class we use the metric system of course – there’s no reason to turn all random & shit, so we’ll stick to the logical way of measuring things:
This is a 3 day project, but don’t worry: you don’t have to work 3 full days with this. The whole process is very quick and it’s a nice weekend project.
You’ll need some clean, dry jars, but first let’s start with
The pickles need to be in brine (salt lake ) for 12-24 hours. Use 1 1/2 deciliter of salt per liter of water (and a few bay leaves just for fun). The cucumbers need to be covered in water in some kind of container (like a kettle with a lid or one of those plastic bowls that has a lid (Tupperware stuff).
The first thing you do is to wash the cucumbers thoroughly.
Then you wash them again.
Put them in a container of some sorts (plastic Tupperware, a kettle with a lid or something similar).
Cover the cucumbers in salt lake/brine, put a lid on and store the thing cold-ish for the next 12-24 hours. (a basement is fine if you’ve got one, or the fridge, or just a low tempered room).
Find out how much water you’ll need (it depends on the size of your jars and amount of cucumbers). You’ll fill the glasses with cucumbers and water, and then you’ll need a little bit of extra so you can spill some here & there…
According to the recipe this is the proper mix ratio for the pickle juice:
Per 2 kilo of cucumber you’ll need 7,5 deciliter of water, 625 grams of sugar plus 1,25 deciliter of 35% vinegar/acetic acid.
Pour all the ingredients for the pickle juice in a kettle, mix it with a handful (or two) of mustard seeds (both black & yellow if you have), some whole pepper & cloves, and let it boil.
Remove the cucumbers from the salt lake / brine & gently wash them (you don’t want to wash them to much, because you want to keep some of the salt).
Fill the jars with cucumbers & put some twigs of dill in there as well. Don’t be afraid to really fill the jars! The cucumbers will shrink. (You can also add some pieces of carrot, lime, chili & shallots).
Pour the boiling pickle juice over the cucumbers in the jars (it’s smart to do this in the sink, because the sugary pickle juice is boiling hot and sticky).
Let it cool off before you put the lids on the cucumber filled jars.
Pour the pickle juice out from the jars and back into a kettle. Bring it to a boil again before you pour it back into the jars.
Let it cool off again before you put the lids back on the jars.
Now we play the waiting game…
Please don’t pickle too much with yourself while you’re waiting.
2-3 weeks later you can start eating the little bastards (I’m still looking forward to taste them myself).
And please keep this old saying in mind kids: don’t pickle too much with yourself!