One tomato, two tomato
One tomato, two tomato
My garden is moving into high gear after our serious heat and humidity last week. Eggplant, green beans, broccoli, sunflowers, zucchini, crookneck squash, chard and peppers are all producing well. The only thing lagging behind are my tomatoes. Actually, it’s everyone’s tomatoes. We usually have cherry tomatoes by mid-July, and early tomatoes before August. I’ve only had about three cherries. Between to much rain in June and to much heat in July (tomato fruit won’t set on the flower over 85 degrees), it’s very frustrating. I’m suppose to be the tomato queen!
But my cucumbers are going to be prolific. I love to pickle them in all sorts of ways; dills, bread & butter, cornichons, sweet, sour and hot. I make various brines in bulk and put them in the refrigerator. Then I can make very small batches of pickles as the cucumbers are ready. I particularly like to make cornichons with the tiny baby cucumbers. My recipe for French-style cornichons is below.
French-Style Cornichons Recipe
By Tammy Kimbler
1/2 lb baby cucumbers, 1-1.5” each
1 tsp brown mustard seeds
1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
2 cloves garlic or small shallots
2 small dried red chili
2-4 inch sprigs fresh tarragon
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup white wine vinegar
1 tbs kosher salt
Rinse the cucumbers well. If you plan to make these jars shelf stable, fill a pot large enough to submerge your jars with water and bring to a boil. Sterilize 2 pint canning jars and their lid rings by boiling them for 10 minutes. Let the water simmer with the lids while you prepare the pickles. If you just want refrigerator pickles, you can skip the sterilizing and hot water bath, and just put them right into the fridge.
Into two hot pint jars, add 1/2 tsp each type of mustard seed, 1 garlic or shallot clove, 1 red chili and 1 sprig of tarragon. Pack the cucumbers into the jars, leaving 1/2” head space. Make a brine by combining water, vinegar and salt, and bringing it to a boil. Pour the boiling brine over the cucumbers, leaving 1/2” head space at the top.
Wipe the tops of the jar with a clean towel dipped in the boiling water. Add the hot lids and tighten the lid rings. Process the pint jars in the boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Remove to a rack to cool. Do not try to adjust the lids after they are out of the bath. Once completely cooled the lids should vacuum seal shut. These keep for about 1 year. If any of the jars do not seal, put them in the refrigerator where they will last a month or more. These pickles are fantastic with a charcuterie plate, cheese, bread, mustard and a bottle of wine. And you can pretend you’re French.
A chronicle of my adventures growing, preserving, cooking and eating from my garden and everywhere.
Known to many for my incredible ability to organize, I tackle gardening and life with equal verve. Obsessive, is that a bad thing?