Cucumbers And Pickles
Every year I plant my garden, anxious for my fruits and veggies. But each year I don't plant cucumbers because each year they come back anyway. They will sprout in different places in my garden, always in a place where they can have lots of room. It just makes me laugh and excites me. It is what I call "summer magic." This year I thought they wouldn't come. We had an exceptionally hard winter and I started to believe my cucumbers weren't coming and I started to panic. No pickles! What is a fermenting fanatic to do? But come they did, in a spot they had never sprouted from before. Now in my own reality, I like to believe that as I sleep, fairies come at night and plant seeds, so they will grow and become cucumbers. Then I will ferment them and tell the world how to make these life-giving pickles. That just maybe, this is my destiny and a higher calling. So if I find out that everybody's cucumbers come back every year, I will be slightly disappointed - maybe even crushed. So if you don't mind, I prefer to stay in my own crazy reality watching with joy as my cucumbers come to me year after year, and I'll keep coming up with new recipes to fulfill my greater destiny.
I think everyone should ferment, and not can, their vegetables. No big boiling pots of water heating up the kitchen. Just a little chopping and patience and you have one of my favorite foods - fermented pickles!! Pickles that are loaded with vitamin C and good bacteria that can change the world that lives inside of you. So my first recipe each year with my cucumbers is a sweet fermented relish - Sweet Pickled Relish. Man, I just love pickles!
Sweet Pickle Relish
- ¼ teaspoon Veggie Starter Culture - or 1/4 cup kefir whey
- 3 cups Pickling cucumbers - chopped or diced
- ½ cup sliced onions - chopped and diced
- ½ cup honey or maple syrup
- ½ red pepper - chopped and diced
- 1½ teaspoons Celtic Sea Salt
- 1 tablespoon whole celery seeds
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- ½ tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
- If using the starter culture, place 1⁄2 cup of water in a glass measuring cup, add the culture, and stir until dissolved. Let the mixture sit while you prepare the vegetables (anywhere between 5 and 15 minutes). If using kefir whey, add it when the recipe calls for culture in step 3.
- Combine remaining ingredients (and whey, if using) and pour the liquid over cucumbers, adding more water if necessary to cover.
- Keep the top of the liquid one inch below the top of the jar.
- Let the sealed jar sit on your counter for three days and then place it in the refrigerator.
- These will last at least a year in your fridge.