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the cow jumped over the moon

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pickle time

pickle time
Photo from Wikipedia
We were in Cleveland on Wednesday for an appointment, so after the appointment, we went to the West Side Market. The Market closes at 4:00 p.m. and we got there around 3:30 so we had a little bit of time to look over what was available.

pickle time
My phone takes bad photos!
I saw Coconut Bars!!  Of course I had to get at least one.  I asked the woman behind the counter what she calls them, as we here in this area call them Coconut Bars (I wrote about it here as this is my favorite baked good) though the 'proper' name is Lamingtons, and we chatted about this for a quick second.

We also bought a mango and some cherries and a 1/2 bushel of pickling cucumbers.

pickle time
Another bad phone camera shot - this the veg/fruit area, which is outside the main market building.
As it was so late in the day, there were fewer shoppers than usual - sometimes it is bumper-to-bumper people here!
Made some dills* today, am about to do just finished some pickles with lemon* which I have never tried before, and am getting ready to do some with ginger**, and then I'll do some more Bread and Butters** - I had picked up pickling cukes at the Farmers Market here in town a week ago and "put up" a few pints of Bread and Butters earlier this week - but I'll do some more because I really love B&Bs and I'll cut them lengthwise to fit on sandwiches.  Then maybe just maybe all the cucumbers will be pickled by Monday. I'm getting a little anxious that I won't have all these pickled up before they start getting soft.  I like doing small batches, and in a variety of flavors.  In fact, I'll probably do some curry ones, too.

pickle time
The Bread and Butters from the other night, along with granola Robert made last night.
* recipes from The Joy of Pickling
** recipes from The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving

demo

The community services non-profit in town houses the food pantry.  Once a month, they hold a large distribution (in addition to their regular food pantry hours), and along with the large distribution they also have a cooking class.

So I was asked if I would do a demonstration on how to make refrigerator pickles as part of the class on Saturday morning.  I jumped at the chance. This is the third summer in a row I have done little food preservation workshops there, and I really enjoy it.

demo

Friday night, I was given a large box of pickling cukes.  I made up a batch of Sweet and Hot Curry Refrigerator Pickles so the attendants at the cooking class could sample them while I was demonstrating. Now of course the flavors wouldn't have fully infused, but they folks loved them anyways.

I like demo-ing refrigerator pickles as an easy was to preserve food.  Some folks are freaked out about canning, thinking they'll kill their family members.  But with refrigerator pickling, you're pretty darned safe.

People who attend the class also receive (most of) the ingredients to make what was demonstrated - so they received cukes, and onions, and also a bunch of other stuff as after my demo there was a demonstration making a squash/tomato/rice dish.

demo


more cucumber pickles

So, my last post was about attempting to ferment cucumber pickles.  The update is -- I freaked out, and ended up composting them all.  I wasn't sure if what I saw on the top cucumbers was mold or something that was supposed to be there, so I just tossed them all.  Plus I remembered that I actually don't like fermented pickles much.  I do love sauerkraut so when I gather up my nerve, and research more, I'll try that instead.

In the meantime, I picked up a new canning book - Southern Living: Little Jars, Big Flavors.  Last week, using the "Dill Pickle Spears" recipe, I processed six wide-mouth pints.  Now I really like wide-mouth Mason jars, but they don't fit well in my canning pot - they touch too much when there are six of them, esp at the lid, and I was fearful that the jars wouldn't seal properly.  What I may do next time is do three of each - three wide-mouth and three regular ones.

These dills are absolutely amazing!  I am not sure if it is the recipe or the freshness of the cucumbers (I got the cukes at our Farmers Market), but I'm definitely going to do this one again.

I then tried the "Bread-and-Butter Pickles" recipe.  Here's a photo of the cooking process for this recipe:

more cucumber pickles

This recipe gave me 6.5 regular mouth pints of pickles.  Even though I should have let them sit a little longer (the 1/2 pint I popped in the fridge once it was cooled, and it was from this jar that we tasted them).  Another crowd pleaser!

Looking forward to trying more recipes from this book.  Two for two so far!

more cucumber pickles


fermenting pickles

For some reason, I have been a little scared to try fermenting pickles.  I don't know why - maybe the  line in many recipes that say something like this "If scum forms on top of the brine..."

I'm trying the "Half-Sours by the Quart" from The Joy of Pickling by Linda Zeidrich.  Actually since the jar I'm using is nearly double, I just doubled the recipe.

I have to wait a week or so to find out what they taste like, and I hope that I don't have to skim off too much scum!

fermenting pickles

is it canning time yet?

is it canning time yet?
(Our raised bed at the community garden- peppers, then cucumbers, then burgundy beans; I took this photo before I weeded the bed!)

Although my cucumber plants are not even flowering yet, I asked one of the vendors at the farmers market (which I am co-managing this summer) to set aside a peck of pickling cukes for me once theirs come in.

Yep, I pulled out my canning books!

is it canning time yet?


too busy, no icads, but the community garden raised bed is planted

The community garden raised bed aka 'the allotment' has been planted with pepper plants (AJI Dulce, Red Chili, Medium Hot Block, Hungarian Hot, Banana, and Pablano.)

I also direct seeded Lemon cucumbers, Parisian Pickling cucumbers, and Royal Burgundy beans.

Didn't have my camera with me, so here's a stock photo of Royal Burgundy beans.

too busy, no icads, but the community garden raised bed is planted

I haven't even started the ICAD challenge yet.  Wondering if I'll ever catch up.  

planted tomatoes today

I totally ruined my tomato and pepper and cucumber seedlings by over-watering them.  Plus the under-tray didn't have any holes or slits in it, so the seedlings sat in moisture too long.  I learned my lesson.  I am trying to save some of them, by moving them into better pots, with better under-trays.

So in the meantime, I bought some tomato seedlings at the nursery where I work, and planted them today in my home garden..  Because I love tomatoes, and wanted to make sure I had some sort of harvest this year.  Unfortunately I cannot find any pickling cucumbers plants to buy.  Darn it.  I may purchase some pepper plants from work, too, tomorrow.

One each of Green Zebra, Mr. Stripey, Pineapple, Arkansas Traveler, Brandywine, Sun Sugar (cherry type), Ox Heart, and Cherokee Purple.

planted tomatoes today

Still not sure what to put in my 'allotment' at the community garden.  

the cucumber pickle from dehydrated cucumber experiment

I really don't know why I dehydrated cucumber.  And probably will never again.  Zucchini on the other hand - well, I just toss it into stews and it works great.

the cucumber pickle from dehydrated cucumber experiment

What I did was make some pickle brine (from a tested recipe), and then put the dried cucumbers in the pot and heated it all up together.

the cucumber pickle from dehydrated cucumber experiment
dehydrated cukes in bowl - not in the pot o' brine yet

After the jar had cooled a bit on the counter, I popped it into the fridge.  Refrigerator-type pickles.

A few weeks later, I tasted the pickles.  Oh my, they are really really really sour. Maybe I'll use them in a relish or something.

the cucumber pickle from dehydrated cucumber experiment

The cucumbers seemed to re-hydrate okay.  But next time, if there is a next time, I'm going to use a bread-n-butter brine recipe.


a very warm Friday

I needed to get some of our cucumbers into vinegar, so although it is nearly 95 degrees today, I made three pints of April's wonderful Sweet and Hot Curry Refrigerator pickles.

a very warm Friday

We do have a window a/c unit in our living room, and our house is quite tiny, so the kitchen didn't get too warm.  We have a bunch of Hungarian yellow peppers that need canning. I think I have found a good recipe! I'll post the photos and recipe once they are done.

I'm also working on more pennant strings:

a very warm Friday

I'm hoping everyone stays cool today!
pickle timedemomore cucumber picklesfermenting picklesis it canning time yet?too busy, no icads, but the community garden raised bed is plantedplanted tomatoes todaythe cucumber pickle from dehydrated cucumber experimentmore zucchini in the dehydrator..boy I hope this stuff stays good until winter!a very warm Friday

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