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Fermentation Episode II: Two casual pickle jars

July 11, 2009

So the capers are done and refrigerated. They taste spicy, a bit salty, and a little garlicky, and they’re a little softer than the nasturtium seeds were to begin with. Last night I started two half-gallon jars of pickles. Both have garlic, lemon cucumber, and an improvised blend of brining spices. One has a grape leaf, and the other also has some yellow zucchini, fresh basil, and cumin, and no dill. I also made a mistake with measuring the salt, and so now I’m not entirely sure what concentration of brine I have in there. I would guess around 8%, which is higher than the recipe I was following calls for. But it’s also fairly hot out at the moment, so I hope that will speed the fermentation process.

I found a useful object for pickling purposes as I walked a different route to work yesterday. There was a box labeled “Free Stuff” outside a house that I wouldn’t have passed on my usual route. It was a very small, very beautiful glass dome, probably intended to be a butter bell or something. The bottom half is heavy and has a sort of cup that extends up, and the top half is a lightweight glass dome lid. The whole dome lid, and the cup of the bottom half, fit nicely into the mouth of a jar. The dome tends to trap more air than the cup and doesn’t weigh enough to keep the pickles under the brine, but the bottom works perfectly. I used that in one jar and a regular small jar in the other. Unfortunately, the jar is not all that perfect, and I lost a good bit of brine, along with a lot of the spices, when the jar overflowed last night. I think the pickles settled and the small jar displaced a lot more of the liquid. So I have that jar on a piece of plastic as well as a flour sack towel.

Something I didn’t expect is that the contents are rather beautiful.

Two Jars of Casual Pickles

Two Jars of Casual Pickles

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