Crock Pickles are totally different from regular dill pickles and bread & butter pickles. I enjoy all three kinds of pickles equally but they all have their own unique taste. Crock pickles are actually fermented and therefore are supposed to be the most healthy out of the three kinds listed. It's kind of like the good bacteria in yogurt - great for your digestion.
In my opinion the best crock is the "Harsch Gairtopf Fermenting Crock Pot" (as seen in the amazon.com ad above). This crock has a special water seal edge that prevents any air from getting in and disturbing or ruining the fermentation process (and stops stinky air from getting out - especially when doing sauer kraut).
|Pickling cukes that have been washed & scrubbed - ready for pickling|
3 lbs. fresh pickling cucumbers (washed & scrubbed)3/4 cup pickling salt (or Kosher salt)
6 cloves of garlic (peeled)
3 large onions (peeled & sliced into circles)
6 large dill heads (as seen in the picture below)
8 tender fresh grape leaves (washed)
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
Filtered water (enough to cover 1 inch above the cukes in the crock) (amount will vary according to the size of your cukes)
Wash, scald & dry your crock. Prepare the ingredients above as listed above. Disolve the salt in 1 quart of filtered water by heating it almost to boil (just until you start hear it sizzle around the outer edge of the pot).
Place 4 of the grape leaves in the bottom of your crock. Then, on top of the grape leaves layer half of the cucumbers, onions, garlic cloves, dill heads and 1/2 of the mustard seeds. Repeat with the other half. Top with the remaining grape leaves (both the grape leaves and the mustard seeds will help keep the pickles crisp). Finally, pour the disolved salt water brine on top and add as much more water as needed to fill 1 inch above the last grape leaves. Place the stones on top and then close the lid with the water seal.
Wait 2 weeks and then you will have delicious crock pickles
To be continued in 2 weeks - 8/12/11
continued: Crock Pickles - THE RESULT