This post is also available in Italiano
Here we are with a new episode of Italian Table Talk, the lovely project about Italian food and traditions which I proudly share with my friends Giulia, Valeria and Emiko.
The chosen theme for this month is “preserves”: in our country, in fact, August is the best month to pick all the tasty, colorful summer produce and save it for the winter months ahead.
Perhaps despite appearances, making homemade preserves takes shorter than a trip to the supermarket to buy them; mini gherkins in vinegar, for examples, can easily be made from scratch at home when cucumbers are in season.
Cucumbers can be grown without much hassle basically everywhere, assuming you have a sunny, sheltered spot in which to plant them. You can grow them in pots, growbags or in a garden bed and they don’t need to be looked after, apart from watering, to give the most beautiful fruits.
My father planted his seeds back in April and we are now flooded with cucumbers!
Once you get your hands on proper tiny cucumbers – mini fruits that, by the way, will rip your heart out because they are super cute! – you can start canning straight away.
- Very tiny cucumbers
- Laurel leaves
- One part water + one part vinegar
- First of all wash and rinse all the mini gherkins, then pat them dry and set aside.
- In a big saucepan, bring water and vinegar to a boil; in the meantime, fill a clean jar with the gherkins, throwing in some pepper grains, a pinch of salt, a garlic clove and a couple of laurel leaves as well.
- Pour the boiling liquid into the jar, filling it as near to the top as possible, then seal tightly with the lid.
- To make extra sure that everything in the jar will keep properly for a long time, boil the closed jars for a few minutes in a pot full of water, then store in a cool, dry and preferably dark place.