|Left to right: Half Sour pickle, Kosher Pickle, Sauerkraut and Kimchi.|
|With the fermentation method your pickles need to breath so you cover the jar with a cloth or napkin to keep out dust (or dog hair). It's a little like making beer.|
Then as I had a family and set up my own pantry, I looked and asked around for information on pickling and there was very little. Sure there were a few old books, but really what I needed was some hands on instruction to build my confidence.
|These cucumbers are wedged into the shoulders of the jars so they won't float up out of the brine and spoil. You want at least an inch of brine above the vegetables for the fermentation process.|
Our County Extension office, which was severely underfunded for the last decade, has started teaching again. That is because of our states resurgent interest in food growing and preservation. Now they are adequately funded to give food preservation classes. Hooray! It pays to vote.
|These are some Pickled Spicy Beets that our Extension Agent and students canned at another class.|
|Tomatillos,carrots and beets slated for pickling.|
|This picture makes me feel sick.|
The class instructors were very vehement about following only research based recipes, since the acidity of ingredients can vary drastically, which can in turn allow dangerous bacteria to grow in your pickles. Research based recipes are the ones that you will get from Universities and Extension offices. Ball Blue Book of Home Canning is another reliable source and was recommended.
Our OSU Extension Office has an excellent PDF on "Pickling Vegetables"
Another good recipe book is from the Clemson Cooperative Extension "Pickling Foods"
There is also a PDF from Iowa State about pickling and the National Center for Home Food Preservation site which is recommended by our extension office.