Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Washing Cucumbers in a Vintage Wringer Washer Maytag Washing Machine

Hello and welcome to my blog......I want to tell you the story about washing cucumbers. Approximately a year ago I bought this book by Stephanie Thurow. Well in fact I got it around July 2017. I read it from cover to cover, still trying different recipes. In the beginning there is a story about washing your cucumbers in a wringer washer...….well I was sold. That was it I was determined to find a wringer washer. I looked everywhere from Craigslist, Ebay , Etsy, my daughter Alexis was even looking too on Facebook. Bruce would look also. I would find beautiful washers in like new condition and they would be way to far....like Arizona.....Kansas....California....not exactly somewhere where Bruce would agree to go and pick it up. I would stop looking for awhile, then go back at it. Finally one evening Bruce comes across a newly refurbished one in Maryland.....ahhhhhhh….CALL THEM! He called and this man who lives in an Amish community had recently refurbished this Maytag 1956 (I think that's what he said) even a new plug of course the man spent an hour on the phone with Bruce and telling him everything he did.....I think Bruce even learn something new about vintage washers.....maybe a little more than he ever intended. 
Which if you like to can or make fermented foods this is A MUST HAVE! This is the book by Stephanie Thurow 

So we talked to the man on Tuesday night and made an appointment for Thursday mid day to arrive at his house to see the washer. We left early that morning and since the gentleman was within an hour of the National Aquarium in Baltimore so we decided to make it a day. Let me tell you and beautiful place if you have never been it is a must see!!! We had such a blast and got to see the dolphin show too. See pics below of some of the adventures. 
So this washer purchase was right on time......we had rows of cucumbers ready and if any of you have had to clean them with all the little pricky nubs and not to mention pick them talk about needing long sleeves and gloves....but do you think I do that.....nope I just tough it out and keep on going.....then when my arms and hands are scratched up....I say why did I do that....every time. This washer takes care of all that, plus cleans them well. 

here are some of our pickling pickles that are parthenocarpy (as we have grown them in the high tunnel)   it basically means they fruit without fertilization. Since honey bees do not go into a high tunnel, but bumble bees do and other pollinators.....but maybe a bit less production....we use the parthencarpic cucumber seeds from Baker Creek called Monika. They produce an over abundance of cucumbers and as I type this are still producing...however not as many and many of the plants have done their duties. I didn't exactly want to self pollinate all the cukes so these seeds are the best option. Outside we use regular seeds different types and they do quite well....although many of them get away from me and I have these huge really long cukes….you know the ones. 
This is one batch of cucumbers 

You have to add water enough to cover so that it does not tear them up.....as in break them in half or just make them harder to cut 

You can see there is ample space around the cukes and they are not beating each other 

The water after the first washing 

I scooped it out but Bruce said " you don't need to the opening is wide enough, for the stuff to pass thru. The agitator comes off and you can clean under the drain area. He hooked it up with a valve so it drains properly instead of me lifting buckets......or him. 

This is how dirty the water gets 
plus I rinse them again with the sink spray nozzle 
This is some of the cucumbers 

Bruce uses this old slicer to cut the cucumbers. The slicer was actually my mom and dads when my mom was married to my dad. They divorced when I was five and I am fifty now.....so you know its old! IT IS NOT safe. I DO NOT recommend it at all! Bruce has a butter knife stuck in it to hold it on. 

                  Here is the video of him USING it and trust me...……..NOT SAFE

Once the batches of cucumbers are in the buckets you soak them in lime pickling powder that you buy on Amazon, or in your grocery store. NOT AT A FEED AND SEED STORE for your garden, although some of the feed and seed stores sell canning supplies so this lime would be in the canning section.  Trust me I get that question a lot where do you get the lime.  

One they have soaked and rinsed numerous times and soaked...…...then you make the brine and soak the cucumbers.

this is a 24 quart pot full of soon to be pickles 

Putting the pickles in the jars 
the sweet and spicy pickles in the jar 

These are the Monika parthencarpic seeds grown in the high tunnel which you can see do quite well and look really nice too. 

See how healthy the vines are and the baby fruit 
Almost ready cucumbers 

Ready for sure cucumbers 

Ready too 

It was a wonderful year for cucumbers 

You can see how tiny the pickling cucumbers are 

Also when it was time to dig potatoes I decided I was going to use the washer for this too

It worked great......clean potatoes and less hand work for me 

Here the boys were digging the potatoes

The potatoes were really dirty too I brushed them off a bit first once the dirt dried on them 

We had an excellent time at The National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland 

The dolphin show 

more of the dolphin show 

I just loved the jellyfish so relaxing and mesmerizing 
                                               Just look how beautiful these jellyfish are
So as you can see what a long ride to get my dream washer for washing cucumbers and potatoes turned into a day of fun....I was so excited to finally get this washer I had goosebumps of excitement. 

It certainly is a great addition to any homestead....you can even turn these washers into gas run motors to use outside.   

Thanks for looking.

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