Saturday, October 3, 2015

Crocking the safe

In a dark corner of the basement of my 1919 bungalow sits a crock whose interior has had the good fortune of fermenting pounds of cabbage into sauerkraut for the last few years.  In an attempt to come closer to the heritage of my Eastern European Jewish ancestors, I have decided to give kraut a break and to use it to make my favorite pickled green tomatoes.  I have written about these in former posts, and it may seem as though I am obsessed- true story.  It's not my fault, though, as I inherited it from my parents and grandparents from Philly.   Because I usually use Ball jars to make these, I am excited to see if the traditional way is better...

For this recipe, I have used the same salt to water ratio that I use for my pickled kohlrabi and beet stems: 5 tbsp salt to 2 qrts water.

  • Dissolve the salt completely.  
  • Take 3 pounds of green tomatoes and quarter them.  
  • Put a whole head of garlic (cloves peeled and put in individually) into the bottom of the crock. 
  • Then, put the tomatoes on top of the garlic.  
  • Put two or three grape leaves in - the tannins will keep the tomatoes crisp.  
  • Then, pour in the brine and make sure that all of the tomatoes are covered with it; the crock came with stoneware weights that fit perfectly inside so that there is no chance of anything sticking out of the brine and attracting mold.  
  • After all of this, put some water inside the lip of the crock and put the lid on- this is an airlock system that works perfectly!  
My next post will give the results of the experiment.  See you in a couple of weeks!