---Here's my pickle cart... or is it one word?- picklecart? I ferment vegetables with salt and water in these crocks. After two weeks or so when the fermenting is finished, I preserve most of the finished product with vinegar for long-term storage- a jar or two of the live stuff sometimes goes in the fridge so we can get the live-culture benefits. If I had a really big fridge (which I don't want) or a root cellar (which I do want), I wouldn't need to vinegar-can any of the finished product- they could live out their glorious, delicious lives in the brine. But alas. Condos and root cellars, never the twain shall meet.
These lovely old crocks range in size from about 3 to 5 gallons. Aren't they beautiful? Old crocks are everywhere, but they are usually cracked or pitted inside. These, freakishly, have beautiful interior finishes. It's amazing to me when something old and well-used makes it through a century or more, basically unscathed. On some of the handles, you can even see the potter's fingerprints. So pretty.
Not to go all Martha here, but I'd so much rather use these salt-glazed wonders instead of "food-grade" plastic buckets. Who knows what freaky chemical weirdness might be released in a plastic bucket during the magical brine bath? They weren't free like all the pickle buckets out there, but I love them very much. And what else do I buy, really? Yarn; the occasional knitting tool; fiber for spinning; books; garden stuff; and canning jars. I'm a pretty cheap date. If a somewhat Luddite date.
The metal cart is from a junk shop in downtown Detroit. Why this cart would have a stamped "patent pending" metal label on it, I have no idea, but that clever patent-worthy bit is long disappeared. The wheels are stiff, and I've found out the crappy finish can't withstand brine (it's rusting in a most interesting way), but it was 20 bucks and it's built like a tank. And these four very heavy crocks, which I can barely lift when full of water and veg, fit perfectly on it. I scoot it in and out of our very tiny closet to keep it in the shade and out of the way.
My husband is gently urging me to try and make a small business out of my fermenting and pickling. While I do seem to have a latent pickling gene, I have zero idea where to start on a mountain of an endeavor like that. Don't you need a commercial kitchen? And, um, licenses? And good knees for all the standing?- (one really big day of pickling, and honestly, it hurts to walk the next day). And any inspector would take a look at the giant freaking worm bin at the other end of my dining room and gape and gasp in germy horror. But folks who've tried my kraut and pickles think I may be onto something here. I get a lot of wordless "yummmmm"s and "oooohh"s and "ahhhhh"s. Their eyes really light up. It makes me gloriously happy.
Anyone know how to go about it?