My heart goes out

to those millions of women (and it was mostly women) who had to get all the summer’s produce into some semblance of preservation. Pickling in the summer is a bitch. How did they do it? Seriously. You just have to. There’s nothing to be done about it. When produce is ready it needs putting up.

I had the luscious convenience of air conditioning and, still, pickling took a lot of effort. It was blazing hot and I was sweating more than one might comfortably want to be sweating around food prep (keep that in mind when you’re eating in a restaurant in the summer). And I cannot just keep all the summer’s batch of cucumbers until I have the entire crop and then pickle them all at once. They need to be pickled as they come along. My cucumbers, there are several varieties, are coming in hither and tither. Peppers, cucumbers, green beans. Peaches if I ever get any—they are very near to ripe and it seems the squirrels cannot eat them all despite their best efforts so I will have to put them up as well. I don’t think you pickle them (a quick peek at the google tells me I can). Oh god.

Pickle perfection

Well she (the precious woman drinking her tea with both hands and disseminator of this pickle recipe) wasn’t wrong. The pickles were ready in 24 hours and they were delicious. But, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, they were maybe a little too vinegary…I’ll drink vinegar. Next batch I’m going Brad’s half-sour (YouTube here).

Putzing and pickling

So I have an overabundance of cucumbers and tomatillos. I also have dill, tabasco peppers and coriander (the seeds of cilantro) all of which I grew in my garden (the squirrels not withstanding). 

I love pickles. I had vinegar. And I have jars. It took not 5 minutes. Of course I have to wait for the results. But I can be patient. Sorta.

Gurkens happen

I did one of those cartoon eyes-popping-out-of-my-head things complete with sound effects when I saw these on the grocery store shelf. I tucked a jar into my grocery basket as soon I finished mopping up the puddle of saliva that had pooled on the floor while I was looking at them. My sisters know what I’m talking about. 

Once I was home I waited impatiently outside the refrigerator for them to get cold. I don’t like a warm pickle. Well, unless it’s on a hamburger. And once they were cold (OK, the next day) I wrenched the jar open with reckless abandon.

Yeah, no. Sweet. I mean, fine, I’ll eat them, I’ll eat almost anything, but they were not what I was expecting. Maybe if I’d read the ingredients or taken the time to look up “Schlesische” (say that three times in a row) I’d have realized what I was buying. But probably not. Schlesische means Silesian which is meaningless to me. I mean, I know Silesia is a part of Germany but I am not so up on their pickle styles. Although I suppose there is some small comfort in adding that to the treasure trove of useless information that clutters my mind. 

“Oh,” I can say at a cocktail party sometime, “the Silesian pickle is a sweet pickle from the area of Germany called Silesia.” And then taking a sip of my wine somewhat more loudly than is necessary, continue with “I discovered them when I was on sabbatical in Hesse.” Sucking my teeth ever so gently and adding, “lustige Tatsache.”

I ate them for breakfast since I was never at home for lunch. Three sittings, if I remember correctly, to empty the jar. Now I’m wondering what Hessian pickles might be like.

Half sharp cherry peppers

The recipe is all over the internet. Of course, what isn’t? I only had 4 peppers but I didn’t want to waste them and I love worship and adore cherry peppers. So I made 4 cups of brine, hauled out a glass jar and pickled ’em. I threw in a coupla’ green tomatoes I happened to have lying around. I know that changes the flavor but there was room and I hate to waste. There is no way I am making fried green tomatoes this year.

This is only one jar. A couple of different views. It’s pretty I’ll give it that. We’ll see how it tastes. Gonna be a while before it’s all pickle time tho.