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Lacto-Fermentation project: Old Fashion Dill Pickles

11:19 AM

YUM!  boy were these good, too bad I only made 2 quarts!  I make pickles a few different ways, as you probably noticed from the Zucchini Pickle post, I make sweet "cooked" style pickles, as well as the vinegary, tangy refridgerator version (which I'll be making in the next couple of days and posting very soon after).  But before there were refrigerators, and easily obtained mass quantities of vinegar, there was brine and lacto-fermentation.  Lacto-fermented pickles are sour, and salty, and delicious and FULL of probiotic goodness.  You can make them with pretty much any spice and veggie combination you'd like.  I made mine out of whole pickling cucumbers with garlic, and dill as the main flavors. 

The first thing you need is a couple quart-sized wide mouth mason jars, with resealable caps.  Such caps can be ordered online fairly cheaply from here

Then you'll need an airlock with a rubber stopper to seal up the hole in the resealable cap, so that air can escape during the fermentation process. 

Jars are pictured in back of the ingredients

Old Fashioned Lacto-fermented Dill Pickles
makes 2 quarts
10-12 pickling sized cucumbers
2 oz kosher salt (or Seasalt)
2 quarts water
2 garlic scapes chopped up (or 6-8 cloves of garlic)
2 tsp black peppercorns
2 tsp dill seeds
fresh dill leaves/flowers to taste

Clean mason jars and caps with hot soapy water and let drip dry.  

Combine salt, water peppercorns, and dill seeds in a large pot, heat and stir until the salt is completely dissolved. No need to boil, but DO allow the brine to cool completely.

While waiting for the brine to cool, stuff the mason jars with cucumbers, dill leaves and flowers and garlic.   

Pour the brine over the veggies in the mason jars, cap and seal with airlock.  Leave them out on the counter for a couple days, until the brine starts to cloud up a little.  Then put them in a cool dry place (our basement is actually perfect for this) for another 5-7 days and let the spontaneous fermentation magic happen!  After those days have passed, test them out!  They should taste sour and salty, and slightly carbonated.  If the sour isn't there yet and all you get is a lot of brine with garlic and dill in the background, let it ferment for a few days longer and see what happens. 

My kids and I loved these, but my husband did not. I'd say 3 out of 4 isn't bad!  

Enjoy and happy fermenting!

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