Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Half Sours

I've always wanted to can vegetables and have never gotten around to it. I saw a recipe for some dill pickles as I was skimming through my usual array of magazines while I was at Riverside. On my way home, I stopped by a road-side stand and picked up some Silver Queen corn and some tomatoes for mom. They also had to most perfect cukes for pickling. This was my sign to finally do something with summer veggies.

I was raised on dill pickles, I guess most of us Americans are. I had never had a half sour, nor even heard of one, until I met the hub. On my first visit to his parents house during Easter Week, they served half sours. Yes, they were even included in the Easter Feast. I fell in love immediately (with more than just the half sours, I may add). My first impression was that the cucumbers weren't quite finished "cooking." They are on the cucumbery side, but the crunch and flavor just can't be beat. They are not overwhelming as some dills can be.

When I got home with my cukes, I did a search for some half-sour recipes. I came across the one I used on a blog site--but of course! Since these ferment for several days, I will have to keep you posted on the process and the outcome. I will see if these are the perfect half sour or if I will need to doctor it up a bit. I cannot wait to take my first crunchy bite!

Tommy's Half Sours (Makes 1 jar)

  • 8-9 pickle sized cukes
  • 1/3 t whole coriander seeds
  • 1/3 t brown mustard seeds
  • 1 or 2 whole allspice
  • 1/3 t crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 t black pepper corns
  • 1/4 t dill seeds
  • 1-2 T dill weed
  • 2-3 pieces broken dried bay leaf
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, cut in half (skin on is ok)
  • 1/4 C pickling salt
  • 4 cups water
Mix spices (except pepper) in mortar, mixing but not completely crushing.

Put cukes tightly in jar. There should be at least an inch left open at the top of the jar--cukes need to be completely covered with the water at all times during process.

Add dill weed, garlic and peppercorns to jar, pushing around with a chopstick if needed.

Mix the salt and water completely and pour into jar.

Put jar in a large bowl as it may spill over during fermenting.

Cover lightly with lid--do not close lid completely.

Let sit in clean, cool, dry place for several days--48 to 72 hours.

Fingers' crossed!

Oh yes, this is my new writing assistant. She's working out ok. It actually takes me more time with all her shaningans! Oh well, no one is perfect, right?


Vallen said...

She looks like she could take dictation though. I have never had half sour pickles. I'm going to give them i try.

Motherkitty said...

My grandfather always made pickles in a large crock which he kept upstairs on the back porch. He would cover the cukes with his brine, place a plate upside down to keep the cukes submerged, place clean cheesecloth on top, then put a brick on top of all that.

All the cousins and I had a job -- which was to sneak upstairs and eat these "pickles" without his knowing about it. They were usually only half done but that made them the best. I'm sure he knew about it but never said anything to us. He just made more.

I own that crock and also a very large jar that he used to make pickled green tomatoes in.

Your recipe sounds just like his. So, with your permission, I will copy and try it out. We found an Amish gentleman who has an organic farm market who lives not far from us. We are going back there in a couple of days and I will purchase a bunch of cukes from him. I'm going to use my crock to make a batch of those pickles. I can taste them right now!!!

Happy 4th to you and yours.

LisaOceandreamer said...

I love dill pickles but have never heard of half sours before. I've wanted to trying canning something, anything...mostly jam, but have yet to put away the art supplies for cooking utensils. lol!
I adore your new writing assistant...does she critique? I have to shut down the laptop at night because I think Miss Daisy Cat likes to order things.

ShabbyInTheCity said...

Oh it wasn't me that had a half sour story...I came back to see what you meant.

T*mmy said...

I just made another batch of what I call "cheater"!! They are right popular in my household and do have to sit for two weeks to be at optimum taste...
Love your assistant!
PS...this is Early Bird...I just made a few changes at my blog and my name was one of them ;)

Beth said...

Yumm,,,I do love dill pickles and boy are my cuke plants thriving. I am really getting a bunch. May have to try that recipe. I just Love Bella,,she looks like she is ready to assist you again,lol.

Linda said...

All they have here in France are the tiny little dill pickles called cornichons. For some reason I am craving sweet pickles and am going to try and convert the cornichons to sweet by adding sugar. I read about this somewhere on someones blog that I can no longer find. Hope it works. Such a cute cat.



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