An overarching theme emerged from the chapter about pickles and pickling in the book Ewiger Saatz — Everlasting Yeast. That was the snitching going on from the crocks of pickles stored in the well house or milk house or root cellar.
I have been feverishly putting up dilly green beans and dill pickles using my Grandma Kaseman’s recipe. Well, maybe I modified it a bit… but it’s basically the same. Pickles are simple to make. Doesn’t take too many ingredients — cucumbers, dill, hot peppers, garlic and maybe some onion. The juice that goes over the top is 1/4 cup vinegar to 4 cups water, 3 tablespoons sugar, 4 tablespoons pickling salt and 1.5 (or 2) tablespoons pickling spice. You pack the hot jars with washed cucumbers that have been picked in the cool of the morning, taken immediately into the kitchen and then stuffed in the quart jars. Put hot bathed lids and bands on the clean rims and set in the sink. Then I pour all the hot and boiling water I have leftover from preparing the jars and a bit more for good measure and allow the jars to sit until the water is cool. Oh, yummy. Of course, it helps to grow a pickling or Chicago cucumber. They have a tougher skin and do not get all mushy in the fermentation process. Oh, did I mention to add dill top and bottom or one or the other and a big toe of garlic and some hot peppers.
Anyhow, you get the drift. When we lost some cucumbers and found them several days later they were too huge for the quart jars and so I tried the crockery method of dill pickles. Now here in lies the beauty of that. In Ewiger Saatz, many of the elders remembered sneaking into the pickle crock for a half-done pickle. Yep, and when we had a conversation about half-done pickles, there were people with dazed looks on their faces having never tried one before. Well, how could they? Only the privileged canners of the world know what a half-done dill tastes like. So that’s where I’m going with the pickle story today. I’m going to have some half-done pickles in a day or two and yummmmmmmmy. I can’t wait.
Of course, those “slicer” cukes can also be sliced and tossed with onion and salt and put in the fridge to cool. When the potatoes are done frying, you throw the sour cream over the cucumbers (drained if you wish) and add pepper. Whoa. What a delightful summer meal. Yes, the weather is still summer here folks with a whole week of 90-degrees day ahead of us.
So until next time, Gute Essen…