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These pickles represent a vast emotional journey for me. The actual making of the pickles? A breeze. Easy. But my goodness, I worried over these pickles, was delighted by them, disgusted by them, feared for them and finally was proud of them. And I haven’t eaten one since. It turns out, we don’t really crave pickles very often. Thus our refrigerator has played host to two very large jars of rather tasty pickles that we will probably never eat.
Ah, but you say “I love pickles! I would eat so many pickles!” Good for you. I will help you on your path to pickle paradise.
We used a recipe from Sandor Katz’s book Wild Fermentation. This man loves fermenting things. All sorts of things. Things I wouldn’t eat raw, let alone stuck in a jar for months on end. But he certainly is enthusiastic. He also has a rather relaxed attitude about things like rotting/fermenting. So…take that into consideration.
We followed his recipe for Lacto-Fermented Sour Pickles. You can find it here.
Basically, the recipe involved throwing a bunch of stuff in a pot and letting it sit on your shelf for a couple weeks. Bam. Pickles acquired.
When the pickles are done….there was this… residue. White and gooey…and….it did not inspire confidence. I was ready to throw the pickles out right then. There was no way to recover from this residue. My German Companion hates wasting food. It is his least favorite thing EVER. He and his hatred of waste are in fact the only two reasons why there continues to be pickles in our refrigerator. He fished a pickle out of the brine and rinsed the white goo off. He then sliced it up and ate a piece. He did not then proceed to die, get sick or even grimace. He handed me a slice and I had to think for a few moments about whether or not I could actually eat it. I looked at it from a few different angles. Smelled it. Stuck my tongue on it. Then actually ate it. No one was more surprised than me when it actually tasted like a pickle. We had actually made pickles and not as I had begun to suspect, been stewing a pot of botulism on the bookshelf.
That white goo. So, if you make this recipe, you will get delicious dill pickles out of it. You will also get a voluminous amount of suspicious white stuff floating around your brine taunting you. If you think you can handle that and still eat the pickles…I say go for it.
One day my German Companion is going to come home and there is going to be a suspicious amount of free space in the refrigerator. I will lie. I was opening a jar to eat one of our delicious pickles when a gigantic bird came in and ate them all. Every last one. No, don’t look in the trash can, you just sit down on the couch. Would you like a nap? A cup of tea?