½ gallon spring-top canning jar or quart sized jars and metal lids
1 pkg cocktail cucumbers from Costco or one package pickling cucumbers from Fry’s ( or as many fresh cucumbers as will fit into your jar)
2 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp dill ( I use dried dill)
2 garlic cloves
1 Tablespoon mineral salt (I use Himalayan)
4 Tbsp. fresh whey (or an additional tablespoon salt)
Chlorine-free water to cover pickles
Optional: 2 drops juniper essential oil
Combine a cup of water with the salt and stir to dissolve.
Put mustard seed, garlic, and dill into jar ( if using more than one jar, you need to use a full recipe of the mixture for each and enough water to cover pickles)
Slice clean cucumbers, either lengthwise or into ½ inch discs and add to jar.
Add water/salt mixture, juniper oil, and whey
Add enough water to cover pickles, leaving at least one inch at top of the jar for expansion.
Close tightly and put in a cool place out of direct sunlight for 2 days, then refrigerate and enjoy!
Pickles will improve with age
There is some controversy about the use of whey in ferments, as you probably know. The way I understand it, the use of whey helps to inoculate the ferment as it begins, in order to keep mold and bad microbes out of the ferment, allowing you to use less salt.
I’ve always used whey, partly because I make kefir cheese and have it on hand. Today, I’m going to make Jim’s favorite “Buffalo” kraut with no whey. I’ll post the recipe on the website after it is done and taste-tested, so please stay tuned.