Hand-crafted Pickles

I have always loved having pickles on my sandwiches. I used to buy them all the time. Nothing tastes so good for lunch, especially on a bleak winter day, as a sandwich with lots of crunch from assorted crispy vegetables, some cheese, maybe a little meat or not, and zingy pickles and mustard. When I found out about the Feingold diet though,  I started scrutinizing labels even more then I already did. What’s this? Yellow no. 5, on every pickle label i could find. And propylene glycol sometimes, too. As much as I liked pickles, I just didn’t want to buy them any more now that I knew they had petroleum in them from the food dye. If you want to know more about the Feingold diet, watch this video below.Yes, it’s true, many foods we think are safe actually have petroleum in them.

It just so happened that I made this discovery about the time I actually cracked open the Nourishing Traditions book I had bought over six years before but just sat on a shelf. It was so thick it seemed intimidating. But I found a recipe for homemade pickles! It didn’t even require canning equipment. I could use canning jars, but I didn’t need a canning bath.

Here’s the recipe:

4-5 cucumbers

4 c water

1 T salt

2 T fresh dill, chopped up

1 T mustard seed

4 T whey (if you don’t have whey then use 1 T salt more)

Wash and slice the cukes. Place in jars. Mix up the ingredients, then pour over. Screw the lids on. Let sit for three days at room temperature, then store away, preferably in a cold storage room, but I don’t have one, and the ones I stored three years ago in a hot garage have been fine. I have been eating these ones recently and they taste great! I didn’t plant much of a garden two years ago when I was pregnant over the summer, and last year I didn’t plant cucumbers, but this year I planted a bunch of cucumbers and we’re having a bumper crop!

It’s amazing to me that the Creator provided a way for people who don’t have access to electricity (freezer or stove) to preserve food. This is how our ancestors preserved food. The salt inhibits bacterial formation until the lacto bacillus bacteria, which is found naturally on the food, starts causing the food to ferment. The fermented food then is preserved by the lactic acid and safe from bacteria or decomposing. This process was lost when the modern food industry took over the production of most food. Preserving food by lactic acid fermentation is a lost homemaking art that will increase your family’s health. If you eat lactic acid preserved food, you will be sick less often, because the bacteria helps your gut by killing the bad germs in there.

Thinking of pickles, the food, makes me think of Pickles, the comic strip. Here’s a fun video about the Pickles comic strip, created by an LDS guy, Brian Crane.

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