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Everything's coming up cucumbers! They're finally here and we're keeping up with Dill refrigerator pickles, Geschmorte Gurken (Braised Cucumbers) and Classic Sweet "Bread And Butter" style pickles

1:14 PM

Cucumbers have been making their way into our kitchen by the bagful and I'm loving every second of it.  Over the last week, I've made another double batch of lacto-fermented dills, and a couple quarts of beautiful tiny refrigerator dills (actually, my youngest daughter played a big part in putting these together).  One of the bags of cukes that we got were overripe and HUGE.  I chopped 4 of them up and made traditional style sweet (bread and butter) pickles, and tried my hand at yet another recipe passed down from Oma.  "Geschmorte Gurken" is a braised stuffed cucumber recipe where you hollow out the seeds and use the cukes as little bowls to stuff with savory (Paleo-friendly!) filling.  And we still have more cukes so we aren't quite done yet!

Lets start with a little project I did with my 2-year-old daughter while her sister was at camp.  She was so excited to help (EAT) the little cucumbers that I had gotten specifically for pickling that I thought it was wise to just let her immerse herself in the process.  She did great and now we have 2 quarts of beautiful refrigerator dills to snack on. 

Quinn's Refrigerator Dill Pickles
2 quarts small cucumbers (we used cornichon sized small gherkins)
3 1/2 cups water
1 1/4 cups white vinegar (or apple cider vinegar to be 100% corn-free)
1 tbsp sugar
1tbsp seasalt
2 garlic scapes, chopped
4 dill flowers or 2 bunches of dill leaves  to taste.

Stir water, vinegar, sugar, and sea salt together in a large bowl until all ingredients are dissolved. I found that it wasn't necessary to bring this to a boil (which is always great when you have a 2-year-old helping).  

Combine cucumbers, garlic scapes (or cloves), and fresh dill in a large glass or plastic container. Pour vinegar mixture over cucumber mixture. Seal container with lid and refrigerate for at least 3 days.


Going from tiny gherkins to overgrown/almost forgotten cukes from the garden is quite a leap and we made the leap this weekend. 

I had never even heard of this recipe before this week, but Oma swore by it, and Mom found the hand typed recipe card in her collection... so I decided to give it a whirl.  

I'm glad that I did because what a unique, gorgeous seasonal treat these were!
I had more cucumbers than what the recipe calls for, so next time around I'm planning on using Quinoa along with the other stuffing ingredients to bulk it up and give it a little extra protein, which would make these a meal in themselves.

Ur Oma's Geschmorte Gurken (Braised Cucumbers)
1-2 large cucumbers
1-2 tomatoes
3 oz bacon
1 onion, chopped
1 cup water (if needed)
salt to taste
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pinch sugar
Parsley or Dill to taste

Peel, cut in half lengthwise, and hollow-out cucumber. Set aside. 

Skin and de-seed the tomatoes, and set aside.  
Fry bacon in the pan until crispy and reserve the fat.  Saute the onion in the fat until it is translucent.  Add a little water if needed.  Add the tomatoes, salt, sugar, garlic, and herbs.  Put the halved cucumbers in as well. 

Cover until the cucumbers are fork tender.  

Pull the cucumber "bowls" out and put them on a serving plate.  Fill them with the tomato mixture and top them with crispy bacon.


We had Geschmorte Gurken as part of our Sunday dinner this week.  And when Monday came, I found myself with a little bit of time to myself... and yet another bag of cucumbers awaiting attention.  I decided that, as wonderful as lacto and refrigerator pickles are, they have a relatively short shelf life and take up a bunch of space in my refrigerator.  It was time to make something  a bit more flexible as far as shelf-life is concerned.  So, I made classic sweet bread and butter style pickles.

Sweet "Bread and Butter Style" Pickles 

4 cups apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup salt 
4 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons mustard seed
large cucumbers, sliced
  onion chopped

In a saucepan at medium-high heat, combine cider vinegar, salt, sugar, tumeric and mustard seed. Bring to a boil and let cook for 5 minutes. 

Meanwhile, slice cucumbers and onion. Loosely pack the vegetables into 4,  1-quart canning jars. 

Pour hot liquid over the vegetables in the containers. Put on lids and rings and process in a waterbath for 5 minutes.  Remove from water and let cool and seal on the counter.  Should keep for up to 1 year on the shelf. 

Hope you enjoy all of these as much as we are!

Happy Harvest!

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