A Simple Pickling Rig

I ended up getting cucumber seeds this year from Mrs. Pendleton's personal stash.  I'm starting to suspect they were magic seeds, as they're producing like crazy.  And while a sliced cuc with cheese is a wonderful, cool snack, at some point a girl's just gotta start making pickles. 

In addition to the processed pickle recipe that I used last year, I'm experimenting with fermented pickles as well.  It takes less prep time and the results are supposed to be more crunchy.  

After trying an internet fermented pepper recipe that failed (it was an exercise in how many colors of mold can be grown in one jar), I decided to go buy a book in hopes that the recipes would be better tested.  On glowing recommendation from Marisa, I went with Put 'em Up!, which has been everything I hoped it would be.

In short, these pickles are soaking in a brine full of salt and other yummy spices.  The brine is just salty enough to kill any nasties, while still allowing lactic acid (which is naturally present on the pickles) to grow.  The lactic acid preserves the pickles and gives them their flavor.  The pint glass sitting on top, keeps the pickles fully submerged in the brine while they're "cooking".  And those little bubbles at the top of my jar?  That means the pickles are fermenting just as they should.

I also made another batch of pickled wax peppers from a recipe in the book, but I went with canned this time.  One moldy batch of peppers was enough for me for one week!