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In Need of a GREAT Pickle Recipe

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Re: In Need of a GREAT Pickle Recipe

Postby Dumbo » Jul 06, 2012 2:49 pm

Using them within 2 days (48-hrs). Otherwise they almost double in size right on the vine in 48-hrs. These buggers grow very fast.

So I, 1) pick, 2) tightly pack and put in the crisper part of the fridge, 3) wait 48-hrs for more, then do the jars.

So I get a mix of pickles of various ages. 48-hrs old, 24-hrs old, some just picked. But All, every single one of them, shrivel.

Yeeaahh, maybe this is an issue. I read the pickle pectin tends to hold for only 24-hrs before deteriorating. Didn't think of this.

So ok, I'll try two batches. One today with what I picked. And whatever are on the vines will stay there till Sunday and I'll do another batch on Sunday with just-picked pickles then compare the diff.

Although I did read about it, I brushed this little factoid aside since the following is likely true:
1. People go to a farmers market to buy a big batch of pickles. These pickles aren't picked that same day. They are likely picked the day before (in a best case scenario).

2. After people buy their pickles, which in the very best of cases in 24-hrs old, they don't do their pickles that afternoon and likely wait another day before doing it. That's 48-hrs right there in the very best of cases.

So yeeaah, I read about 24-hr pickle pectin breakdown, but tossed this little factoid aside.

TY for reminding me about this. I forgot. Will do this as a test now with pickles just picked like an hour before canning (in these jars I will add no calcium chloride and no ice-bath just to see).

ok, that's one good input & test to try. Anyone else?
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Re: In Need of a GREAT Pickle Recipe

Postby OGrubber » Jul 06, 2012 3:01 pm

When sending kid, pack sunscreen and weeding tools. Thanks.

So I checked one of my preserving books which has a problem solver section for "pickle problems". This section covers every type of pickled vegetable.
Here is what it says;
Pickles are not crisp and crunchy - there was not enough salt or vinegar in the recipe.
Pickles are shriveled - cooked pickles were heated too vigorously in a vinegar/sugar solution** , the vinegar or salt solution was too strong, the vegetables were not fresh enough or hard water*** was used.

**in her book she uses 5% vinegar and cuts it with water as her pickle "juice" - recommends adding sugar to cut the "tang" of 7% if it's too tart and she processes in boiling water bath for 15 min.
*** water - even tap water can be hard so recommends using distilled.

[Just as an aside, I've found that even r/o water can be too hard for some uses, ie, soap making - which is not relevant except to where it relates to water hardness]

Edit;
Just read your freshness comment. Pickles bought at farmers markets can be anywhere from 1 day from pick but most likely closer to a week+ from pick.

Edit 2;
You ARE using pickling salt, yes?
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Re: In Need of a GREAT Pickle Recipe

Postby Dumbo » Jul 06, 2012 3:49 pm

Work? The kids work? They wont even feed the cat, and now want a dog. Maybe you can train them? OGrubbers boot camp for kids? ;)

TY for that OGrubber. Yeah i looked over that in a book I have as well. Even the Bernardin books have this (but not as detailed) in the trouble-shooting section.

I also bought a dummies Bernardin "Dill pickle mix" did a batch per their recipe on it, and the results were the same. I bought new vinegar at the same time when doing this batch just in case. Same result.

So when the guy at Bernardin said to use calcium chloride, I shot back saying you have this in the "Dill pickle mix" you sell. He said add it anyhow.. eh.

OGrubber wrote:Pickles are not crisp and crunchy - there was not enough salt or vinegar in the recipe.
Pickles are shriveled - cooked pickles were heated too vigorously in a vinegar/sugar solution** , the vinegar or salt solution was too strong, the vegetables were not fresh enough or hard water*** was used.


The ratio of water to vinegar were respected. New 5% vinegar was bought just in case. Bought a dummies pre-made mix (with calcium chloride) where you just add water and vinegar. Result was the same.

The water here is soft. I also have distilled water here, so I could use that as a test (I buy water for the water cooler from a local water distiller). My sister has hard water and uses water from a garden hose when she does her huge back-yard canning parties. Never this issue. But I'll try it just to say I did.

So I'll use distilled water in all recipes, just in case. Point taken, added to the list of "to do".

OGrubber wrote:Pickles are shriveled - cooked pickles were heated too vigorously in a vinegar/sugar solution**

I'm not sure what she means by cooked pickles. Unless she means cooked in the canner too vigerously while processing. This is the only thing I can't, or never, trouble-shooted. Have to buy my thermometer. Even the guy at Bernardin said this is a "no" (more or less). But this is the only thing left that I can think of...

--
OGrubber wrote:[Just as an aside, I've found that even r/o water can be too hard for some uses, ie, soap making - which is not relevant except to where it relates to water hardness]

I've never made soap before. Would be fun to try. I have read of this as well, but I would put the finger on an improperly maintained R/O system. When I was in infectious diseases (critical bio analysis, R/O water alone was not good enough. Had to use deionized + distilled first time, and only time, I ever encountered this). I can't see proper R/O water not being good enough for something like this, but I know nothing about soap making. So I would put my money on the R/O unit not properly maintained. But I never did this, so can't say with certainty... but... doesn't sound right.

You make soap?

--

EDIT:
OGrubber wrote:
Edit;
Just read your freshness comment. Pickles bought at farmers markets can be anywhere from 1 day from pick but most likely closer to a week+ from pick.

Edit 2;
You ARE using pickling salt, yes?


So I can scratch off the 48-hrs as being too long and causing pickle-pectin to degrade and causing the issue?

Yup, pickling salt. At least, it says so on the box.

EDIT 2:
Just went to look at the salt box. Says, "Coarse salt, ideal for pickling". Shows a jar of canned pickles on the label... When I go buy my thermometer, i'll look around and see if I spot anything different.

Another Edit:
But the salt doesn't explain the shriveling happening in a dummies bought pre-made pickle recipe where you add no salt and just add water + vinegar.

Damn. I just want a jar of pickles, now I am almost doing cold fusion in my kitchen.
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Re: In Need of a GREAT Pickle Recipe

Postby OGrubber » Jul 06, 2012 4:52 pm

Dumbo wrote:Work? The kids work? They wont even feed the cat, and now want a dog. Maybe you can train them? OGrubbers boot camp for kids? ;)

You laf. This whole farm is boot camp from a to z.

Dumbo wrote:The water here is soft. I also have distilled water here, so I could use that as a test (I buy water for the water cooler from a local water distiller).

Tap water may be softened but isn't necessarily "soft".

Dumbo wrote:I'm not sure what she means by cooked pickles. Unless she means cooked in the canner too vigerously while processing. This is the only thing I can't, or never, trouble-shooted. Have to buy my thermometer. Even the guy at Bernardin said this is a "no" (more or less). But this is the only thing left that I can think of...


As to that, I would assume, yes, during the processing.

Dumbo wrote:... but I would put the finger on an improperly maintained R/O system. When I was in infectious diseases (critical bio analysis, R/O water alone was not good enough. Had to use deionized + distilled first time, and only time, I ever encountered this). I can't see proper R/O water not being good enough for something like this,....


Not quite. Reverse osmosis purifies water and de-mineralizes it [I think!] but doesn't change the ph. So, if you put hard well water through the r/o system, you have good drinking water, but it'll be as hard as [or nearly as hard] as the source... yes, I make soap and the harder the water the less sudsing ability a bar has.

Dumbo wrote:So I can scratch off the 48-hrs as being too long and causing pickle-pectin to degrade and causing the issue?


Would depend on how well they are stored. I'm guessing this isn't an issue for you unless you leave yours on the deck in full sun for a couple of hours after harvesting.

Dumbo wrote:Damn. I just want a jar of pickles, now I am almost doing cold fusion in my kitchen.


I know. It's a reall bummer when things aren't working out the way they should.
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Re: In Need of a GREAT Pickle Recipe

Postby Dumbo » Jul 06, 2012 6:32 pm

lol got what I needed and forgot the water. Have to run back out. blah.

I'm placing my money on "water boiled to vigorously". But, we will see. I'll smack my head on the keyboard if they are all still shriveled.

I want to hear more about your farm, OGrubber. Your website says nothing about making or selling soap. You sell this, right?

Do you distill your own oils for the soap as well? Got pics?

One of the local farms around here where we pick berries has a whole little park set up for the kiddies, homemade ice-cream, waffles etc etc etc. Just the perfect amount of kid food to make them scream for some ;)

No homemade soap though. Is this a big production thing for you? very small batches? What else do you guys do that isn't shown on your website?

The soap making really has my interest. Been toying with little idea's like this before (with other things) but never did anything. Though I had one of the lab techs interested enough and wanting to dump all his money into it and quit work to do it. lol

Tell me more (if you want). Has my interest.
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Re: In Need of a GREAT Pickle Recipe

Postby DonnaZn2SK » Jul 06, 2012 6:35 pm

Fer crying out loud, Marc...just learn to embrace the limp pickle!

(If your children complain, just give 'em your best "evil eye".)
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Re: In Need of a GREAT Pickle Recipe

Postby Dumbo » Jul 06, 2012 6:50 pm

Never. I am now obsessed with the perfect canned pickle.

And when I get it right you will want my pickle, but i'll just dangle it and say, "No, go get your own soft limp ones". You will then cry. C'est la vie.

Or, I'll be hauled off in a straight jacket yelling about getting the perfect pickle.

One or the other. I'm leaning towards the funny-farm at this point in the pickle game.
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Re: In Need of a GREAT Pickle Recipe

Postby B_BQ » Jul 06, 2012 8:00 pm

Pickles, pickles, pickles and more pickles.
I don't know what I did right last year, and I'm tearing my hair out because I can't find the recipe I used. Knowing me I probably used a combination of recipes! My dill pickles were great. Very very firm, not a limp one in sight! A year later they're still crisp and crunchy but we've just finished the last of them.

These are what I made last year.

I also made pickled onions, salsa verde, (with tomatillos), pickled beets, regular salsa, and piccalilli.

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Re: In Need of a GREAT Pickle Recipe

Postby Dumbo » Jul 06, 2012 8:39 pm

Ah. So you are rubbing it in, eh. Kind of like a pickle Nyah-nyah in your face. I see, said the blind man to his deaf dog.

See, my pickles looked like that BEFORE processing. After processing they just shriveled up to half their size and floated to the top.

Now that looks like a 1-L jar. Did you process it for 15-minutes?

I put a pox upon your next batch.
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Re: In Need of a GREAT Pickle Recipe

Postby davefrombc » Jul 06, 2012 9:08 pm

I actually don't see the obsession with crisp pickles .. Dad's were never crisp and crunchy.. They were so so in the crispness, but had gobs of flavour and were hot .. I'll trade for that over crunchy anytime .
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