Homemade pickles!

A little while ago, we made pickles.

Making pickles has become somewhat of a tradition for us.  A few years ago, we made our very first batch together and, like Mark’s baba (Ukrainian for grandmother) before him, we’ve tried every year since to improve our recipe.

This year we bought our cucumbers, garlic and dill weed from one of our local markets.  We also added a special ingredient from our garden – a hot pepper.

After packing all the ingredients in jars and topping them up with brine, we let them sit on our kitchen table.  On the 7th day, we decided they’d fermented long enough and transferred them to our fridge.  A few days later, we opened them up and got our first taste!

Sadly, 3 of our 4 jars produced soft pickles.  We had a bit of surprise cold spell when they were fermenting and our landlady turned off our air conditioning and turned on our heat.  We’re thinking that this change in temperature might have sped up the fermentation process and over-fermented the 3 jars.

Good news is we at least have 1 jar of delicious crunchy pickles!  We also went out today and bought more ingredients so we can try making another batch.

I was pretty excited when we bought the dill weed. It was almost as tall as me!

Our hot pepper from the garden. Mark’s ditto (Italian for grandfather) used to grow these and he would eat them by the handful!

Our aromatics: black peppercorns, dill seed, dill weed, garlic, and crushed red pepper.

Ready to begin fermenting!

Fresh from the fridge.

Yum!

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