“Sometimes questions are more important than the answers.” ~ Nancy Willard
I have been make lacto fermented pickles for years. They are delicious but they were never quite as crunchy and crisp as I would have liked them. It kind of started bugging me.. a lot. Why don’t they snap when I bite into them like Bubbies dill pickles? These are the things that drive me crazy wanting to know not just how, but why. It is my reason for being. It is to understanding the why’s of this life.
I have a journal that sits by my bed at night. I write countless questions that I would like answers to. I write down the question, and then I stop thinking of the question and wait for the answer to come. The answers always come and it never ceases to amaze me. My questions are sometimes philosophical and many times spiritual but more often than not they are practical.
Questions like; why does the bottom of my husband’s foot suddenly start hurting when he sleeps at night? Answer; he needed more B12.
How can I make my own toothsoap? I loved the answer to this one. It had a little science thrown in.
And this one; exactly how many angels do I have helping me? Answer; I have a team. They are my personal managers.
The crunchy pickle dilemma went into the notebook, and I waited for the answer.
When you teach your friends to ferment it can be quite helpful because they will start having all kinds of unique ferments that will often help you. On one particular week two of my friends came to me to tell me they had made pickles and that they had used clean grape leaves (they’re also other leaves you can use) in the jar because the tannins in the leaves make the pickles crispy. One of my friends had her pickles with her and let me try one. When I bit into it, there it was the crispness I had looked for. I get really excited when I get my answers, but when they come through my friends it really moves me. I often will bite my lip to keep from crying because the person in front of me has no idea that they have just delivered to me something I have been asking for. I have scared a few strangers by tearing up while they were innocently answering questions for me without ever knowing it.
Most appreciative of the answers I receive. I will keep asking questions because there is just to many things I need to know the answer too.
“The art and science of asking questions is the source of all knowledge.”~ Thomas Berger
Try my cinnamon pickles or leave out the cinnamon stick and make them regular. Get one of these types of leaves. Grape,oak, raspberry, blackberry or cherry leaves and make the pickles snap when you bite them!
Makes 1 gallon
3-4 lbs of cucumbers (small to medium is ideal, but if all you have is large, cut them into spears)
6 Tbsp Celtic sea salt
2 Cloves of garlic
2 sticks of cinnamon
3 Tbsp whole dill seed
2 Tbsp whole coriander seed
1 tsp whole mixed peppercorns
1 tsp juniper berries
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp dill seed
A handful of fresh, clean grape leaves, oak leaves, or cherry leaves, raspberry or blackberry leaves work too. ( It’s the tannins you want in the leaves that makes them crispy)
If using a veggie starter, add 1/2 cup of water then add veggie culture. Feed it a little sugar to wake it up about 1 tsp and stir till dissolved. The sugar will be consumed quickly by the bacteria cultures, and there is no need to worry about the added sugar. If using kefir whey proceed with other instructions below.
Chop cucumbers in half place flat side down on surface and cut into spears.
Place cucumbers in 4- 4 quart jars. Place other ingredients in a measuring cup with a spout for easy pouring.
Mix all ingredients till well combined. Pour mixture into jars making sure that each jar gets equal amounts of ingredients. (Some of the seed may fall to the bottom)
Fill the jars with extra water leaving a 1 1/2 inches of room at the top and making sure veggies are below the water. The veggies will mold if left above the water. If this happens scrape off the mold or discard veggies and push the others below the water. The mold is harmless and won’t hurt anything but they can ruin the taste of the veggies. Set at room temperature for 3 days and then place in the refrigerator. They taste the best after 3 to 4 weeks in the refrigerator.