Polish pickled cucumbers - kiszone ogórki

Never mind how busy you are in late summer - even a headchef must find time for pickling cucumbers! These are one of our favourites served as vegetable especially with roast beef or on canapes with pork lard - smalec. We pickle cucumbers in two ways. One, the most distinctive, is often referred to result in "spoiled' cucumbers that are sour because of the natural process. The vegetable becomes dark green and the water is mudding. They are also called salted cucumbers.The second pickling method is done thanks to vinegar - these cucumbers have transparent water and are brighter. The Polish usually are devoted to one favourite taste. I love pickled cucumbers with vinegar but my husband like naturally fermented cucumbers. So these are for him. All the fifty jars. 

I use the recipe of my father, and his mother - my grandmother. I have found the same recipe in the oldest cookbook at my family home (the book that I already took over, secretly). The important thing is that cucumbers shall have no stains or scars. Choose the smallest as they will fit into the jar. They shall be pickled no more than 2-3 days after harvesting. It is always good to keep them in cold water over the night and then pickle. I found the soaking crucial if you don't want your cucumbers to be really spoiled. The old cookbook says that the good time for pickling is from the new moon up to the full moon.

Ogórki kiszone  - pickled cucumbers

1 l water
1 Tbsp salt
1 kg small cucumbers
4-6 pepper grains
4-6 allspice grains
4 bay leaves
leaves of: vine, oak, blackcurrant, sour cherry
mature dill twig (it is big and stiff)
white horseradish root - 2 fingers size
4 garlic cloves

1.Soak small cucumbers overnight in cold water.
2. Boil the water with salt. Cool down completely.
3. Place in two 1-litre jars all the other ingredients. 
4. Fit in cucumbers all around the edges and inside the jar. 
5. Cover completely with salted water. Twist the jar really well. 


6. Leave in a cold dark place. Watch for few days if no liquid comes out of the jar. If so - place a jar in a fridge, give it a week and then eat. Ballooned top of the jar is ok.


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