Bess and KC of Kester Clark Farm are my stall neighbors at the Floyd Farmers Market. They had a flood of pickling cucumbers this year and just couldn't unload them all. I became the lucky recipient of a peach basket chock full of these goodies and the dilemma of preserving them. I was looking for fast and simple so I decided to try my hand at making crock pickles.
If you're from the Northeast and a member of my generation or older you may remember being able to buy a giant pickle pulled from a jar or crock that sat on the counter of your local deli or butcher shop. Where I lived these were known as crock pickles or kosher dills. If you lived in or near one of the big cities, especially the NYC area you might have known them as sours or half-sours.
Guided by Sandor Katz, I decided to make half-sours. Most of my ferments are done in quart or two quart ball jars but for this I needed a much larger container. Luckily I had picked up a 3 gallon jar at a yard sale. You could also use a food grade plastic bucket which can often be obtained from a friendly local restaurant. Or an actual crock if you're lucky enough to have one.