Pickles Anyone?

Today, I baked four banana breads and made two gallons of lacto-fermented pickles. You’re asking yourself what on earth Kris is talking about now, aren’t you?  Let me explain.

Back before Ball & Kerr came on the scene with modern canning methods, folks used what we now call “tradtional” methods to preserve foods.  Lacto-fermentation is one of those methods.  If you are familiar with sauerkraut or kimchi, you probably know what I’m talking about.  A vegetable is preserved using sea salt and whey from milk (hence the “lacto”).  This ferments the vegetable with a desirable bacteria which produces a very beneficial probiotic.  Just like kefir, it’s good for your gut. 

I really don’t have much experience with this subject at all, so let’s learn together.

First, I had to procure some organic pickling cucumbers, which turned out not as easy as I thought it would be.  But I got ’em.  Today, I scrubbed them well and cut them in halves or fourths, depending on their size.  Some were quite fat and very nice (I got them from two different sources).

I thought for sure I’d have trouble filling a one gallon glass jar.  Not so.  I could have filled one and a half glass jars, so I split it in half between the two.

Don’t they look pretty?

Once the jars were loaded, I added mustard seed and dill that I home dried, a few tablespoons of sea salt and whey from my homemade kefir made with raw cows milk.  Then I filled the jars with filtered water from my Berkey water filter and put on the caps.  I’m supposed to leave these puppies at room temperature for three days and then place them in cold storage.

Here’s how they look on my counter right now.

So, I hope they turn out.  I tried a quart of these before without the whey (you’re supposed to be able to just add more sea salt) but they didn’t turn out.  I’ll keep you posted.  And, yes, they’re supposed to look cloudy.  That part probably takes some getting used to.

Soon, I will be making Master Tonic.  If you don’t know what that is, check out this video on YouTube.  I am bottling mine just as it’s done on the video to have on hand for colds, etc., this winter.  I’ll do a step by step with photos and post it when I make it.  I am also hoping to make some elderberry cough syrup.  I like the idea of having natural remedies at my finger tips, and I’ll know what’s in them!

What kind of natural remedies do you make or buy for your family?

This post is part of the Raising Homemakers Homemaking Link Up.


2 thoughts on “Pickles Anyone?

  1. Hi, I hope you’ll excuse me for this, but I see from your pic of the gallon jars that the pickles are “floating” in your brine – if this is true, no matter what kind of brine you’re using, you will have mold growing on the top of your pickles – to avoid that happening, you need to put a plate with a weight on top of the pickles, so that the liquid covers all the pickles (and maybe the plate too).

    Best of luck with your pickles.

    • Thank you so much. I wish my instructions had told me to do that. I am going to throw out the pickles that were on top -they were pretty mushy anyway. The others should be safe to eat, according to what I’ve read. I hope that’s right, because that was a lot of pickles! If I had it to do again, I would have stuffed all of them in one jar and made sure they were submerged. Live and learn!

      Thanks again, Kris

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