August 4, 2016

Finishing up my crock pickles

I posted recently about the beautiful old crock I inherited from my great-great-grandma via my great-grandma and my aunt. After nearly a month, my pickles never formed a white scum. I'm not sure if they really fermented. Maybe the temperature in my kitchen wasn't quite right. Anyway, I tasted a few and they were quite good - crispy and salty, brined to perfection - so I decided it was time to can them. 

Check out the salty stuff that seeped through and formed a crust on the outside of the crock. 

A lot of the water was drawn off the cucumbers by the brine, bringing up the water level in the crock. 

Here's the finished cucumbers!

The small ones I jarred whole but the biggest ones I sliced into spears. 

I packed the jars on their sides to make it easier to get the long ones in their well. 

I heated up the brine from the crock with a little added water because it was super salty and vinegary. The original recipe had no water in it, just what seeped off the cucumbers. 

Once the brine was hot I poured it over my filled jars, cleaned the rims and put on the lids. After ten minutes in the hot water bath they were done!

I'm so excited about these pickles. The flavor is great and they stayed pretty crisp even after soaking for almost a month. And it's even better because I felt like I was channeling my past by repeating a process done by generations before me, using the same tool. It's living history.  

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