Pickles and Sauerkraut

TWO Unsweetened Dill Pickle recipes!  6 lbs. pickling cucumbers (approximately 3-4 cucumbers per jar)
3 cups white vinegar
3 cups water
4 tbsp. pickling salt
7 garlic cloves, peeled
7 tsp. dill seeds
3 1/2 tsp. whole black peppercorns
4 large, fresh grape leaves

6 qts. cucumbers sliced with
12 yellow onions sliced or better yet small pickling onions, garlic cloves
1 c. Kosher, pickling salt or sea salt
1 – <2 qt. apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar)
1/2 C. whole brown mustard seed
1 c. pimineto or 1/2 Tbs. crushed red pepper flakes
3 tsp tumeric 1 tsp. black pepper corns
fresh dill and or 1 tsp. dill seed to each jar
1/2 grape leaf to top each jar.

Now either recipe could be amended by using whole mixed pickling spice and Germans would usually and some whole brown mustard seed to the mix. Fresh Dill was always my choice or 1 Tb’s dill seed per quart.  A sweeter version would add some sugar.

This German Sauerkraut recipe would be to put them into a large stone jar. This would also be in the cold cellar! I would use grape leaves instead of alum (see below) Layer the cucumbers with grape leaves, cucumber then a layer of dill, grape leaves, then cucumbers. Repeat until the jar is full. This is the old fashioned way, and cucumbers would be added as some were eaten. Just be SURE that all the cucumbers are covered with vinegar all the time and that the jar is covered.

Place COLD (refrigerated) cucumbers, onions, salt in large container. Mix well. Add COLD water to cover. Let stand for 3 hours or overnight, drain. With the brined material poured out, mix remainder of ingredients (cider and spices) together. Add to the drained cucumber mix to cover. These must be stored in a cold room or refrigerated and used within a few weeks.

If you wish to process them:

Add the peppercorns and dill spices to the bottom of each jar before adding the cucumbers

  1. Prepare jars – wash or sterilize them in the dishwasher – keep them hot.
  2. Start water bath now – you want it close to the boiling point by the time you are ready to add your jars.
  3. Wash cucumbers – making sure to scrub the skin thoroughly.
  4. Slice dice or spear as you prefer.
  5. Over medium high heat, bring vinegar, water and salt to a boil.
  6. To each jar, add 1 garlic clove, pickling onions 1 teaspoon of dill seed, and 1/2 teaspoon of peppercorns to the bottom. I usually add a fresh dill sprig as well.
  7. Pack the cucumbers tightly into the jar and pour the hot brine over them, stir to release any air bubbles. Add 1/2 grape leaf, leaving 1/4 inch head space for pints and 1/2 inch for quarts.
  8. Wipe off top and add the lid and band.
  9. Place in hot water canning bath (I like to have a spacer on the bottom so the jars don’t rattle around and process for 10 minutes at a roiling boil.
  10. Remove with a canning jar lifter, put onto clean towels and let cool to room temperature. Next day usually.After 24 hours, check to make sure the jars are sealed by pressing down on the center of the lid. If it does not ‘pop’ then it is sealed. If it pops they are not properly sealed and must be refrigerated. These would be good for about two weeks.
  11. Always take the time to label the month and year of processing!

I have also learned that adding some alum will make them firmer as well That should be used if you do not have grape leaves! Alum is no longer a recommended additive for canning pickles per the FDA

I just went to the store to buy some spices and I was appalled at the cost of seasonings. If you have access to fresh red peppers or spicy peppers one can simply slow roast them on cookie sheets on the two racks in our oven – very low setting (usually 160 to 180 degrees. These need to roast for about 8 to 10 hours. So start them in the morning or late in the evening. Let cool and then process in a food chopper. Seeds should be avoided and wear gloves if handling hot chilies.

I actually processed the seeds to make a super cayenne deer repellent. Use a USED coffee filter like Mileta and pour in boiling water as you would make coffee. This concentrate should be diluted in a sprayer and used as a foliage spray. Make sure not to put that filter away for your spouse to make coffee with. The cayenne will impregnate the plastic and you will hear your name being taken in vain the next morning.

Another site, her local pickle site is a delight! ‘pickle’ rhymes with ‘tickle’

Another Fruit Pickle link!
How to preserve your husband.
Kimchi Korean Kimchee
Sauerkraut, a German recipe favorite

I concur with most of those steps except I always used a dehydrator and never an oven. Using a barbecue for smoked peppers was also my preferred choice.

I must add, I SAVED all the seeds and used them (ground up in a coffee bean pulser for deer control. Apparently my own heat level index is quite high. When my daughter came in she just about died and ripped all the doors and windows open.  What’s wrong?

This type of self-absorption also created some grief in my relationship mode. HOW was I to know that when I filtered hot water through the final ‘deer product’ (Hottest chilies I could find … and only the seeds) using the Melita coffee filter that the product would impregnate the plastic?

The next morning my ex-wife’s shriek could be heard a block away as she consumed her newly made coffee. Jeesh, I had washed everything, good hubbie that I was.

NO INFLATION??? Perhaps the people tracking it should start including fuel and food.  Be it meats, spices, bread, dairy or even my cheap Lentils everything has gone through the roof.  This site has some good tips on mitigating some of this by being a bit more inventive.

cook-and-chickenEvolution post

I’ve never been an early human. What’s it like? It’s like showing up for work before anyone else gets there. Might as well throw in my other pickling recipe and creation site.  fsm_welcome

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