Kitchen Garden

Friday Fermentation

Cucumber Plants
Cucumber Plants

LAKE MACBRIDE— The crock on the lower level of our split foyer home showed evidence of bacterial action this morning. A small pool of bubbles formed on the surface of my first-ever batch of dill pickles— evidence of fermentation at work. Experiments with home fermentation began last year, when I made a large batch of sauerkraut and a jar of apple cider vinegar. It’s an arena about which I knew little and am not sure I know much yet. Hopefully practice will make perfect.

Using the first pick of the cucumbers, I cleaned up a crock, mixed five and a half ounces of pickling salt in a gallon of distilled water, added dill seed, crushed garlic, and peppercorns to the crock, then submerged the cucumbers in the brine. Next, I waited, hoping for what I witnessed this morning. It took about three days for the bacterial action to start.

More cucumbers are forming on the vine, so worries about losing the first pick for this experiment have subsided. One prepares for experiments to be a complete loss, paving the way for enjoyment if they turn out well. Nature is providing an abundant garden this year, so there is no worry about a shortage of cucumbers and other vine produce.

Now, more waiting and cleaning the scum off the surface each day. The smell is of dill, so things seem to be heading the right direction as the cucumbers pickle.