July 4, 2014
Zukes, cukes, and carrots
Cucumbers are in full production and these will become a small batch of pickles tomorrow. I pulled a few “test” carrots. Summer carrots are sizing up and the little cherry tomatoes are starting to come on.
Once the Sun Gold cherry tomatoes start to over take our ability to eat them fresh, they will be dehydrated for winter use.
Mean while, one these two varieties of cucumbers are going into garlic dill pickles, and the other for refrigerator pickles.
About refrigerator pickles: Every year I make Jacques Pepin’s pickled vegetables recipe from Jacques Pepin’s Simple and Healthy Cooking by Jacques Pepin (1994) It is an old cookbook, but I still use it, especially when I have a garden full of fresh produce.
From the garden, I’ll add the baby carrots, green beans, garlic, bell peppers, dill and onions.
This old cookbook has been used and reused until it is falling apart. The book is held together with rubber bands at this stage. I still prefer paper cookbooks over ebooks. I do have a couple of cookbooks on the Kindle, but most are good ol hard cover cookbooks.
White Wonder heirloom cucumber and those foot long organic Chinese cucumbers, “Suyo Long” aren’t the only cucumbers growing in my garden.
Those short little Kirby-like picklers are getting a late start, since I was trying to stretch out the production times.
Most of the white cucumbers weigh in close to a pound. Since they are just 6″ to 6 1/2″ long, that is a pretty solid cuke. They are firm and crisp, good for fresh eating and pickling. Pick them promptly right at 6″ of smaller and there is no need to peel. Wait, and the peel becomes tough and bitter.
Do you know this crisp pickle tip?
There’s an enzyme in the blossom that can make the pickle soft and unsafe to eat. Cut at least a 1/16-inch slice off the blossom end and discard.
Avoid waxed cucumbers for pickling. The brine or pickling solution can not penetrate the waxy coating.
I get the heirloom White Wonder cucumber seed from Nichols Garden Nursery.
Renee’s Garden has the organic Chinese cucumbers, “Suyo Long.”