Saturday, July 27, 2013

Fermented Pickles

 Every year I make 4 different kinds of pickle product when my cucumbers come in. This year to quote my Mississippi Delta grandmother " we  are sitting in high cotton" ! The cucumber crop has done wonderfully and we are picking cucumbers by the buckets full. WIth peppers on the bush and onions aplenty it is prime pickle making time. I have already made sweet relish. Not much but just a few jars because we don't really use very much. The next pickle product I make is dill relish. We use quite a bit of it. Then I make dill slices that we eat throughout the year on sandwiches. But my favorite pickles of all are the fermented ones.

 These are simply fermented in a water, salt, garlic and dill solution. These are like the pickles you buy in the refrigerator section of the grocery store. I ferment them in gallon pickle jars that we get at the local store that has a small deli. The bad news is that these pickles keep on an average of about 6 months in the refrigerator so I make a big batch and eat through the summer. My kids and grandkids love pickles and these are a healthy snack. Then about the time that the cucumbers are about to finish I will make several large batches to sit in the back of the fridge to eat on through the winter. 

Fermented Pickles

Approximately 35 small to medium sized fresh pickling cucumbers
1 gallon cold distilled water
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup pickling salt
8 to 10 cloves garlic
6 grape leaves
6 heads fresh dill

Wash cucumbers , trim blossom ends off and leave whole, slice in half, or slice into spears. In a clean gallon jar cover the bottom with fresh clean grape leaves. (these help to keep your cucumbers crunchy) Now layer dill heads( you can also use dill seed substituting 1 tablespoon of seed for every head), garlic and sliced cucumbers. Now in a pitcher mix together pickling salt, vinegar and water. Stir well to melt salt. Now pour salt solution over pickles and weight down. I fill a small jelly jar with water and put the lid on it and use it to weight down my pickles. I like to lay grape leaves over the top of my pickles and then the weight on top. Cover with cheese cloth or a clean piece of muslin or kitchen towel to keep the bugs out. I leave mine on the counter for about 4 days or until when you bite into one it tastes like pickle and not cucumber. Then I put a lid on the jar and put it in the refrigerator. As long as these stay cold they will remain crisp. I leave the weight in to make sure my pickles stay below the brine. We snack on these crisp juice pickles most of the summer.

Blessings from The Holler

The Canned Quilter



  1. How many cups of red beans do you put in each bag when freezing. I just picked mine and got a bushel. now i'm shelling and would like to freeze. love all your recipes.

  2. I have never made refridge pickles before because I have always either used them up fresh or made canned pickles but I think I will this year- the canned ones never give that delicious CRUNCH like the store ones do and that I love so much.

    I was also wondering- way back when you were doing your broccoli- you said you soaked it in salt water to get rid of the worms. How much salt do you put in? I have always tossed it in boiling water- but that essentially blanches them and I can't use them in fresh salads and things. I'd love to try the salt water solution. Broccoli salad is calling my name!

    1. Like you we love that crunch too!

      For the broccoli I put in about 1/4 cup salt and let it sit and it will kill those worms : )

  3. Do you think you could do a post on your dill relish? I am not a fan of sweet relish but I LOVE store bought pickle relish and would love to make my own. Do you also grow and pickle the really tiny cucumbers? I have seen them at our local Amish market but don't have a recipe to use on them. Thanks

  4. I am going to try these they look delicious.

    I've been reading, recently, about fermenting a wide variety of vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables, and many others, ferment extremely well. They are not only delicious, but VERY nutritious as they provide an abundance of good probiotics for the intestinal tract. They last for about two months in the refrigerator, once fermented. Hence, we will do small batches in quart jars at varying intervals.

    Thank you for posting this pickle recipe and the information on how to keep the pickles and the Dill Relish crisp. Your posts are always wonderful and a fountain of helpful information. Thank you.

  5. Do you use grape leaves out of a jar?

  6. how long will these last in the refrigerator? Could you can these somehow?

    1. They should keep atleast 6 months in the fridge. I don't think they can be canned but are simply made to be eaten out of the jar cold.

  7. I made these last week and we love them. But, one of the jars went bad. It became cloudy and bitter. Do you know what might have gone wrong? The cucumbers didn't taste like pickles on the fourth day so I left them out for 24 more hours. Could that have done it? I want to make more but I'm concerned about wasting more cucumbers. Thanks for your help!


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