pride of the pickle

fermented pickle- cityhippyfarmgirl

It worked! It really worked!!

It’s not every day that you excitedly talk pickles with your landlord’s handy man. But I did, and here I was again, excitedly telling him over the phone that the very same pickles we had been scrutinising several days earlier had indeed worked, and I was just a little bit excited.

I had made sauerkraut before, and that was certainly easy enough, (although the last batch did have to tossed out due to a truly unimaginable miasma settling in my kitchen-due to it being far too hot to be fermenting sauerkraut. Bless my birkinstocks, and oh my goodness…it stank. It really did.)

So with the sauerkraut in mind, I was a little nervous embarking on the pickles. Consulting the fermentation bible though and it seemed hot weather was still ok to work with. I had some wonky farmers market cucumbers that seemed perfect for pickling. So lets give this pickle thing a crack.

pickles- cityhippyfarmgirl

Each day I would study the jar, looking for changes. On the third day I found them. It started going a little cloudy, then on the fourth there was a scum on the top. I wasn’t sure, I really wasn’t. I’d just seen the week before, a 20cm high mould growth from the top of someones pickles. Was this the beginning of a similar path??

fermenting pickles- cityhippyfarmgirl

surface mould on the fermenting pickles- small ceramic dish to weigh the pickles down and keep submerged.

Then the handy man came over. After tending my minor fixing-things, talk turned to the mouldy scum pickle concoction on my bench top. They’re fine, he assured me, sunlight, skim the scum off and they are nearly ready due to the change of colour. Turns out my handy man’s mother had decades under her belt of making pickles, just like the method I was trying to replicate. Luck indeed, I had in my kitchen, years of pickle knowledge; albeit once removed, (but that was certainly good enough for me.)

Now I was curious, really curious.

Another two days went by and then I was ready. Mouldy scum scooped off (since it had appeared I had done it every 12 hours) and a pickle gently rinsed.

I sniffed, smelt like pickle.

I admired, looked like pickle.

I nibbled the end…

pickle- cityhippyfarmgirl

It tasted like pickle!

Douse me in cheese and roll me in a sandwich. Yes indeed, I had myself a pickle! Well pickles. I had a whole bunch of these glorious naturally fermented pickles and I was just a little bit excited.

Which is why several hours later, when I had to make a phone call about all things handyman related I couldn’t help but blurt out over the phone…

It worked! It really worked!

theartoffermentaion || cityhippyfarmgirl


Last year I tasted a three dollar jar of pickles from Germany. Aside from the massive food miles for such a simple jar of food I also got a migraine type headache within half an hour of eating one of the pickles. I did it twice more before ditching them and vowing never again, not even in a moment of pickle weakness.

Eating anything naturally fermented is filled with wonderful probiotics. If you would like to know more about the awesome world of fermentation I highly reccommend this book and if you are super duper quick (and in Australia) you get to hear and learn fromΒ the man himself.


33 thoughts on “pride of the pickle

  1. Perfectly plated pickle (love a bit of pickle alliteration)! Brydie, I’m seriously impressed with your pickling and fermenting confidence. I’m a big chicken when it comes to weird smells and mould. Seriously though, that pickle looks perfect! I can almost taste it; and it looks like it has a nice crunch factor too.


    • It does have a crunch factor, due to a tea bag (seriously how cool is that πŸ™‚ Still blows my mind. Now Saskia, I do have you to thank for the push into more fermentation…it all starts with sauerkraut! Seriously jump in, you’ll love it and kick yourself for being a big chicken.


  2. That’s really exciting and I’m so pleased it worked out well for you. How amazing that the handy man knew not only hot to fix things but also all there is to know about pickles! I’m sure these would be wonderful served many ways xx


  3. Isn’t it exciting when such things happen? Tony is the pickler here, I must get him to write a post. On another topic ..

    Brydie you may have shown that plate before but it made my jaw drop, I had a four place setting exactly like that when we got married! I think the cups were dark brown like the leaves but I may be wrong, they may have been orange like the flowers. Goodness me.


    • Isn’t the internet a funny thing Rose to jog memories like that. This little plate is the only one I have, there is a cup that’s similar but doesn’t match so I’m not even sure what they would look like. I’d be a tad excited though if I found another to go with it…and the ongoing collection of mixy matchy plates continues πŸ™‚


    • Chrisy to be totally honest, the first time I did it I made sure I didn’t have a whole heap on in the day, juuuust in case I made myself sick. But I didn’t, and I wasn’t even close, that’s just how the pickles roll, mould is an ok thing πŸ™‚


  4. This is definitely something I want to try Brydie – I’m a big pickle lover, but just a humble newbie fermenter. Your pickle looks glorious! In all it’s….pickleness?
    To be honest, I’m actually a little scared of this mould on the top business and I found myself nodding along at your tasting methods. Soon I must try this and go forth into pickleness like never before..


  5. My husband has canned pickles before, but not naturally fermented them. Something I have never thought about, but I’m not a big pickle kind of girl. We seem to always have have a very old jar in the fridge that are “naturally fermenting” in the bad kind of way. So glad for you that it worked! It is always a great and proud feeling when something new works out right!


    • I think you either love them or hate them Katie. I love them, but everyone else in this household holds clear lines of disgust that they will not step over. (Although they were all very polite and took tentative nibbles after much encouragement (or was it bribery) from me.)


  6. Okay, after reading this and your fermenting experiments I will try our ‘kimchi’ I have sitting here but am too afraid to eat. In fact , Though I may just play it safe and serve it to my husband first and if he doesn’t get sick, then I will try it.


  7. Cool Brydie! I’m growing some actual gerkins at the moment and hadn’t yet determined what the pickling process involves. Glad to have your account to reassure me all is well even when the mouldy scum starts appearing. Based on your recommendation, I’ve just placed a hold on Sandor’s book at the library!


  8. Steve and I experimented with cucumbers from our garden and making naturally fermented pickles last year. Still have a few of them in the jar in the fridge and they are just as delicious as the day we pronounced them “done!” :).


  9. So pleased to hear it worked so well for you. Sandwiches, burgers and salads with a bit of oomph will never be the same again in your household! πŸ™‚


  10. What a helpful coincidence with your handy man. I should really get Katz book and collabrate with my mum. She always pickles but I need to get her on to fermentation which I am sure will help with her gout.


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