Do you remember I told you I was going to experiment with fermenting vegetables? Well, my first jar of fermented pickles came out very soft and weird-looking, almost like bites had been taken out of some. So needless to say, I threw them down the garbage disposal without tasting. I mean, yuk!
I really felt like a failure. There was nothing difficult about this. You put cucumbers, filtered water, some garlic, dill and salt in a jar that sits on the counter. No fancy equipment or utensils. No cooking or anything. But, you know me and the kitchen. Not my favorite room in the house!
But when I looked online for what I might have done wrong, I found that cucumbers, due to their high water content, are not necessarily the easiest veggie to ferment. Apparently green beans or carrots are the easiest. Who knew?
The problem could have been that I hadn’t added a bay leaf or horseradish leaf (or grape or even an OAK leaf) or teabag to the jar. Apparently the tannin in those leaves helps to keep the skin of the pickles crisp. I could see bay leaves or grape or horseradish leaves, but I draw the line at putting an oak leaf in something I’m going to eat!
Or it might have been not enough salt, although I did follow the recipe I had found in a magazine, which was one tablespoon of sea salt and then water to fill the quart size jar, which was about a half quart of water with the cucumbers in it. As I pushed the cucumbers down in the jar, I had to add some more water and that might have diluted the solution too much. Apparently it could have been a lot of things…
Tomorrow, the picture of success!