Thursday, September 10, 2009

R. and I went to the Columbia City Farmer's Market
yesterday in search of pickling cukes. As it's late
in the growing season, almost every booth contained
oversized vegetables of some kind: onions as big
as cantaloupe, peaches weighing as much as a pound
each, the ubiquitous missile-sized zucchinis, and cukes
just slightly smaller than the zucchini. I felt doomed
to make cucumber chips, when what I really desired
were lovely delicate pickling cukes.

Finally we found some, tucked away and unassuming
in the shadow of giants. Fresh, of uniform size, perfect
little things! We just about cleaned the vendor out.
And dill -- I began to panic when it didn't seem
to be for sale anywhere, then I found some slightly
wilted bunches, which I brought home and
immediately put into water: a dilly bouquet.

While reading about this pickling process, I've
run across some unexpected tips:
1) Run the cucumbers through a cold rinse cycle
in your washing machine, both to clean them
and give them a good cold soak. (Gonna skip this one.)
2) As an alternative to a hot-water bath, bake the jars
of pickles in a pan with one-inch of water in the bottom.
(This from my friend KE, and I must say it's intriguing!)
3) Include a single grape leaf in each jar. (Yes! We've
lots of grape leaves!)

The Great Pickling Adventure begins tomorrow afternoon.
Full photo documentation to follow.

(I also splurged on a bottle of raspberry wine --
made all from raspberries, not grape wine flavored
with raspberry juice. Can't wait to try this with
some Blanxart bittersweet chocolate.)

Ever had a hankerin' to knit a poem?


  1. Everytime I go to the farmers market I wind up splurging on something--last time I think it was cheese with a grape must rind and pistachio/cardamom butter. Spendy, but unforgettable! When will the pickles be ready for sampling?

  2. Rob -- pistachio cardamom butter sounds divine!

  3. eeek, won't baking them break the glass?

    my tomatoes are just about done. we never had very many this year, and since i was tending a plant for my mother in law i had to give many away. but we have had a couple of margharita pizzas, and many meals of BLTs, and now i'm wondering if i can somehow get the basil (which is doing gorgeously) to overwinter in the house...

  4. laurie: overwintering basil in the house is a fantasy which I've also entertained. Alas.