I bet your surprised to see me here. Haven’t been blogging much lately but am still around. Before it gets too hot this morning, I thought I’d make a little appearance here.
I have been trying new things. Remember that book I told you about, Keeping Food Fresh? Well, I’ve been experimenting with lactic fermentation. Apparently some vegetables will make their own acid in which to pickle themselves. This is how traditional sauerkraut is made. I dislike sauerkraut and don’t grow cabbages so I wasn’t going to try that (though my dad took a recipe). But apparently it also works with cucumbers.
These two photos are of the same jar of cucumbers. The first photo was taken a couple of hours after I filled the jar with cucumbers and salt (a bit of salt on every layer. I’m not sure whether I used enough but probably about a teaspoon altogether). I did not ADD water to that jar. the water added itself from the action of salt and cucumber.
The second photo was taken a few days later. The liquid is cloudy and the cucumbers have changed colour. What is supposed to be happening is that the liquid fermented and produced lactic acid. It is the acid that protects against botulism and other things you don’t want in your food.
I’m not sure what to do next. Some of the recipes in this chapter of the book say things like "can be eaten after 6 weeks" and "will keep for a couple of months". But this one doesn’t. I figure that the point of preserving is to keep some of the harvest to eat later. I have plenty of fresh cucumbers now. I don’t need to eat pickles. So I’ll try them in September.
I’m not sure how long they will keep either. It did occur to me that if I were to make pickles with vinegar, I would then drop them in a hot water bath to seal and whatnot. So now that the acid has formed, I could probably do that and they’d keep a bit longer. I did only make 3 of those 250 ml jars though because I wasn’t sure how it would work out so I’m not sure longevity is an issue this year.