Monday, 4 August 2014

pickled snozzcumbers

Last year I was going to pickle cucumbers…
and not just any old pickle,
proper old fashioned brine pickles.
Lacto-fermentation, hell yeah!

Last year I bought Alys Fowler's lovely book,
and read all about how to do it.

Last year the builders arrived at the end of July,
and ripped the kitchen off the back of the house.

But this year…
I'm doing it - look!!!

Cucumbers from the hotbed.
(Siân said they look like the BFG's snozzcumbers).
I love that half the aromatics are from the garden,
including tannin rich vine leaves for pickly crispness.
The previous owners of the house were Italian 
- Grazie Sr Sanna!

We get through loads of brine pickles in this house,
but the store bought ones are pasteurised,
which knocks out all their pro-biotic goodness.

It's Day 3 and there's definitely something happening…
Some bubble-age, a pickly tang in the air,
and a colour change from summer green to gentle olive.

There will be updates 
(for all you pickle fans out there).


  1. It looks as though they are doing really well!! xx

  2. I LOVE gherkins, they're my favourite pickle! I buy big jars of them from Lidl (didn't know about the pasteurised thing) but I bet home pickled ones are better. Looking good! xxx

  3. Gosh they are gorgeous friend! Every single photo just exudes beauty and deliciousness!!! Good for you for rocking this out this year as having a kitchen ripped off the house last year probably would not have made for the best circumstances!!! I would so love to do this next year and am determined to grow more as I have pickle lovers in this house and nothing would be better than grabbing a jar in the winter and knowing they came from our garden! Happy pickling to you!!! Proud of ya! Nicole xo

  4. I am not really a pickle fan - I'll eat them if they're on my plate, but I don't go out of my way to buy them. However, I did think about making some freezer pickles this year since we were getting so many from the CSA. Your pictures of the process are beautiful!

  5. Gah, Google! Stop devouring my comments!

    My dad was in the "pickle business" as it was called from the late 1940's through the early 2000's. The pasturised version are called, "Processed pickles" in the US. The version you are making is called a "Green Cuke" as that is essentially what they are-cucumbers cured in a brine for a few days. In the old days, when a customer preferred a more heavily cured pickle, they'd toss pennies (copper) into the vat to speed up the fermentation through a chemical reaction. The health department hopefully put a stop to that. The version my dad sold the most of were heavy on dill and garlic with some pickling spice added in very small amounts.

    Growing up around all those pickles and fermented cabbage has turned me into a hater I'm afraid (I can't stand it). I will (rarely) make pickles for my husband and son who don't have the same history with the stuff, but the smell lingers in the air, and I keep expecting my dad to burst through the door yelling at me for doing it wrong (he was a boisterous sort who always arrived in a room in a way you'd notice).

    Anyway, it might be worth trying the pickles at various stages in the fermentation to see the changes. Sometimes the just barely fermented and flavoured ones can be nice on a sandwich. Yours look beautiful-just keep the pennies out of the barrel ;)

    1. Wow - that makes you some kind of pickle goddess though. Will start trying them today (day 4) - so we've got something to compare to. Funny how childhood smells both good and bad are so evocative. Printing reminds me of my Dad and Mr Asparagus pea virtually tears up at the smell of fresh cow shit!