Last year I played around with lots of different pickles, from the traditional fermented pickles (which start with salt and water and flavorings but no vinegar) to the vinegar-based canned (water bathed).
Growing up, my mom made dill pickles every year and I totally took them for granted. I just assumed everyone could wander out to what we called the “storage room” and grab a jar of pickles (or peaches, apricots, pears or tomatoes). I had my mom send me her old garlic and dill pickle recipe last year. Last night, I made 7 quarts of them, having saved up cucumbers all week in the fridge. Since I’ll be the only one here after school starts that ought to last me! But I might make another batch to give out as gifts.
I made freezer pickles as well. I’ll have to go look up the recipe. I pulled them out of the freezer a month or so ago and they are quite good! I didn’t really believe a freezer pickle could be good. These are sweet, like a bread and butter pickle. And so easy to do!
I loved the fermented things I did last year. My favorite was sauerkraut. But I didn’t grow any cabbage this year so haven’t made kraut yet. I will though. The taste of fermented sauerkraut is quite different than the jarred stuff you buy at the store. Mine was more crunchy and more flavorful. And as a bonus, the fermented stuff is supposed to be very good for you healthwise. All those good bacteria.
When I emptied my last jar of canned pickles from last year, I didn’t throw out the brine. I had cucumbers in the garden so I just scrubbed some and cut the ends off and added them back to the jar. You have to refrigerate these, of course, as you’re not sealing them. I expected the flavor to be a bit less but I was surprised at how good they were after just a few weeks. I’ve now added more as space opens up and I can see just keeping this jar going while I have fresh cucumbers. The fresher ones are much more green so you can see which ones to use. Tonight I ran out of the older more pickled ones as I was making burgers for dinner. But even the fresher ones still tasted good. A bit more like a cucumber but still a pickle. By the way, you can also add carrot spears to leftover brine like this and they taste fantastic!