This year it was the Mountain Feed and Farm Supply that drew me in with their gorgeous country store display. OK, I admit, I’m also sucker for cooking demos. The one in particular that pulled me in was a pickling and fermenting ‘how to’. Fermenting vegetable was something that had been in the back of my mind recently. They are supposed to be so good for you, helping to promote the ‘good’ gut bacteria. Plus I love the taste of pickles, sauerkraut and kim chi.
Another reason was due to my sister. As part of a new diet, she told me she was busy fermenting, can’t remember what, in a large crock pot in her kitchen. She mentioned daily skimming and that no one in the house would come near her crock pot. The whole thing sounded like more of a workout than I wanted to take on. Fast forward to the recent pickling demo I was watching. The woman giving the demo explained how the air lock gizmo on the lid (that can be attached to the top of any mason jar) allowed the CO2 gas to escape while at the same time, blocking bad bacteria from entering. No need for weights, or skimming and no mold. Sold!
Getting Down to the Pickling
So your next question is How are those pickles? The first kit I bought ended up getting gifted before I could use it. I just recently bought a replacement. So today is the day – the first batch of pickles!
Wow – that was easy. It took me about 20 minutes to assemble. Just waiting on the results. The Mountain Feed and Farm Supply people have simple how to videos on pickling and fermenting. Here’s the recipe they included on their site:
3 pounds organic pickling cucumbers, trimmed and washed
6 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 bunch of fresh dill, washed and stems removed
4 tablespoons sea salt or pickling salt
1/2 gallon non-chlorinated water
1/2 Gallon Mason Jar
Vegetable Fermentation Kit for Mason Jar
Knife to trim your cucumbers
Wash your cucumbers, peel the garlic and trim the dill. Pack (tightly but not squished) the dill, cucumbers and garlic into the 1/2 gallon jar. Pour in your brine (1/2 gallon of non chlorinated water and 4 Tbsp of sea salt). Place the ‘brine cup’ (came with the kit) on top so it bobs freely. Screw the lid on tight and place the air lock (filled with water) into the hole. Set the jar somewhere out of the sun and check back in 4 – 7 days.
PS. I also picked up these books for more recipes. The Art of Fermentation is touted as the bible of vegetable fermentation. But since this book is more of a manual than a recipe book, I also bought Fermented Vegetables: Creative Recipes for Fermenting 64 Vegetables & Herbs in Krauts, Kimchis, Brined Pickles, Chutneys, Relishes & Pastes. Wow, that is a title that really describes a book. Anyway, if you’re like me and just want recipes when you’re starting something new, this is your book. I’ve included my Amazon link to both books.