Pickles1 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

6.30.11 Cukes Galore

The weather upstate has been so strange and variable—an early heat spell, followed by cold, then way too much rain and not enough sun—that there has been disappointingly little progress with the plants. The mint patches are lush, the shiso, sage and lemon balm are doing well, and the first squash blossoms have appeared, but the cucumbers have scarcely put out a few tendrils. New Jersey has been luckier, however, and there were already piles of newly picked Kirbys at the farmers market in Union Square last week. I bought about 8 pounds in preparation for our annual pulled pork fest on the 4th. Pickles are essential for barbecue! They're a traditional counterpoint to all that fatty meat, and really aid in its digestion. You may remember from last year that I make both dill and bread-&-butter chips. The dills are lacto-fermented, which means all you have to do is slice them up and put them in a jar with salt and whatever spices you like and let them sit on the counter for a few days. Nature will do the rest, creating the right natural bacteria to give your pickles their requisite tang.