If you’ve been reading my blog(s) for a while you most likely know that A. i really like fermented pickles and B. i get pretty creative with the receptacles i use for said fermentation. Mason jars, yogurt lids, rubber bands….. but no beautiful stone crocks…. UNTIL NOW!
Even Pocket is proud of my gorgeous new crocks! (Pay no attention to the hideous photo and filthy floor, please). These suckers are HUGE: perfect for filling with a garden’s abundance of cucumbers or cabbage for pickles or kraut. The crocks come with stone weights that are the perfect size for the crock and a few recipe cards to try out. The color of the crocks is a gorgeous mahogany brown which just happens to match most of my other canisters and assorted kitchen lovelies.
Where did i get this beauty, might you ask? I purchased my two crocks from a wonderful small business in the suburbs of Chicago. Owned by a young family with ties to Poland, Stone Creek Trading specializes in beautifully made crocks, wooden kitchen utensils and basic childs’ toys. Krzysztof & Emily Kociolek are friendly, willing to chat and troubleshoot the art of fermentation, and sell some really high quality merchandise. I can’t recommend these crocks or the company more! (PS, not only are the crocks really well made, they’re much cheaper with Stone Creek Trading than just about anywhere else i’ve seen online)
My garden was busting with cucumbers this year and my crocks arrived just in time. The recipe included called for less salt than i usually use for fermenting, but i went with it. The resultant pickles are delicious, and i was able to pickle the cukes whole instead of slicing since i finally had ROOM to fit them all – but there’s an awful lot of sediment in the jars. Our well water is pretty heavy with the minerals so i’ll be upping the amount of salt in my next batch. I usually throw ‘the kitchen sink’ in when pickling including garlic, hot peppers, horseradish leaves, cherry leaves, grape leaves, allspice, mustard seeds, dill, etc. I’ve run out of big jars to keep all my pickles in and my friends run screaming when they see me coming with my special ‘gifts’ for their fridge… so i guess i’m done pickling for the season.
The fridge is even more full now than when i took this photo…. ha. So many pickles. So many. Want to make some? Here’s a recipe:
- Cucumbers, small
- Brine, enough to cover all cukes: 2-4 T salt to water)
- Garlic! Lots of cloves, whole or sliced
- Fresh dill, 1-4 heads/leaves, whole
- 1 T mustard seeds
- 1 t allspice (whole)
- 1 T fresh horseradish root (or a few horseradish leaves)
- A few grape or cherry leaves
Wash cucumbers and poke a few holes on either end. Alternatively cut off the tips of each end. Prepare brine by boiling the water and letting it cool (i skipped this step, another potential culprite in my hazy pickles), then dissolving the salt in it. Place cukes in teh crock, add spices in layers. Cover it all with the weights and add brine until weights are covered with water. Fill water seal groove with water and cover with the lid. Keep crock at room temp for 3-4 days then move to a cooler place. Pickles can be eaten at any point in the fermentation process. When desired sourness is reached, remove from crock and refrigerate!
Recipe courtesy of www.StoneCreekTrading.com
Do you love fermentation? What is your fermentation vessel of choice?