So, I can’t really call this Recipe 5 of Shawna Coronado‘s and my 2009 Nude & Eco-Cheap Cooking Initiative because it’s not really dinner, nor does it meet the rules of the challenge. However, Shawna sent me this:
And asked me what I would do with all that lovely produce. Immediatley, I had the answer.
I’d make pickles. In that basket, you have three perfect vegetables for pickling and frankly, this fall you’re going to wish you had some of summer’s bounty lying around to eat. Pickles are an easy way to preserve the harvest and they’re something just about everyone loves.
Making Your Own Pickles
To master the art of pickles, I sat at the feet of a fine culinary guru, Mr. Alton Brown, whose dill pickle recipes graces the Food Network website. While I like his recipe, I wasn’t 100% thrilled with his ingredients, so I switched them around just a bit. Try my recipe, try his, try your own. Frankly, if you have many cucumber plants in your nude garden, you will probably have a lot of produce lying anyway. Might as well experiment with pickle recipes. Find one you like. You won’t regret it!
You will need:
- 1/2 cup pickling salt (not table salt, look for pickling salt)
- 1 gallon filter water
- About 3-5 pounds of radishes, cucumbers, or zucchini or a mix thereof
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 teaspoon dill seed
- 1 bunch dill
Stir the salt water into the salt until it has dissolved fully. Next, carefully wash all of the vegetables. Cut the stem ends off all of the vegetables and cut the zucchini in half. If the cucumbers are long, cut them in half and cut each half into eights (like dill spears.)
Put the vegetables and spices into a non-reactive bowl (no metal). Pour in the brine until the vegetables are totally covered. Put the bowl in a cool, dry place.
To keep the vegetables fully submerged, Brown has a ingenius idea. Pour the remaining brine into a bag and place it on top of the vegetables. This keeps them under the brine.
Check the vegetables after three days. Fermentation should have begun and you should see bubbles coming to the top. Skim any scum off the bowl and check again. Fermentation should be done in 3-4 days. Once done, skim the scum once more and then store the pickles in the refrigerator for 3 days, skimming daily.
After 3 days, the pickles will be ready to eat. They will last in the refrigerator for about two months. Check them periodically and skim off any scum.
According to Brown, if the pickles gain an off smell or get really soft, they have gone bad and should be discarded. But there won’t be any left, will there?
Now, pickle and enjoy!
Get healthy today and follow the “2009 Nude & Eco-Cheap Cooking Initiative” with Blog Well Done’s Chris Perrin and The Casual Gardener, Shawna Coronado
Thanks to Shawna Coronado for the picture.