I have decided that the cucumbers that look like teensy watermelons have to be eaten fresh or made into sour/dill pickles. They just don’t work with sugar.
The jar on the right is dill pickles.
The jar on the left is sweet pickle raisins that are too hard to use in anything. I tried simply pouring boiling sweet pickle solution over them rather than going through the “tenderizing” procedure that ordinary cucumbers require. That was no more effective than using the original method I learned from my grandmother.
I don’t really care for fresh cucumbers. I don’t hate ’em. There is no spit-that-out-it’s-nasty reaction. I just tend to eat around them in salads. But, I do love them pickled. My paternal grandmother’s sweet pickles are the best in the world, hands down. But, pickling in general is a new trick I am learning.
I have a coworker who is a pickling god and he has inspired me to experiment. I have pickled jalapeños and banana peppers and those have turned out well. (Equal parts vinegar and water, boiling poured into jars stuffed with peppers, lidded and flipped over to seal as they cool.)
A couple of years ago, I saw pictures online of some bitty cucumbers that look like thumb-size watermelons. On investigation, I learned that they are called Mexican sour gherkins. I got a packet of seeds and Chuck put them in one of the raised beds this summer.
Two important things to know about these cucumbers. One, they are climbers. Two, they will consume your garden given half a chance. They tried to eat the bed they were in and when I tried to lift them up to some bamboo poles that Ursula brought me, they were putting out extra roots. Next year, they get something to climb on from the beginning.
When I tried pickling them, I didn’t take the tininess into consideration. I turned them into sweet pickle raisins. And, no, you cannot use those little rocks for anything. I think that if I will put boiling sweet pickle solution on them and leave them a little while, they will work.
I did make dill pickles with them and they are tasty. I stuck a couple of cloves of garlic in a couple of half pint jars that I had filled with whole cucumbers, shook about a tablespoon of dried dill in each one and poured boiling 50% vinegar over them. A couple of weeks later, I took a jar to my dad and we tried them out.