When pickling cucumbers, Tal suggests discarding the blossom end, as it contains enzymes that digest the fruit and make it mushy... also adding grape and oak leaves will also help keep their crunch.
IF they do turn mushy, strain off the juice, blend til smooth, spread on dehydrator trays and run at less than 115 degrees until crunchy and blend again for a tasty seasoning salt.
Wild Fermentation Facebook Page and her Pinterest Feed: New Twist Tal Hadani: Feed Me - Ferment. Contact her through her website: NewTwistYarn.com to purchase hand-made pounders or to arrange a private or party lesson.
*Other ways to keep your ferment below the brine include a 4 oz jar set inside a wide-mouthed quart with the lid screwed down, a slab of onion or a bamboo skewer fit inside the mouth and spanning the jar's shoulders, or a flat round river stone.
For hot sauce: pack any mix of chopped hot and sweet peppers in a jar with 5% brine to cover, let set on counter for 3 months, then pulverize in a blender.
Any of these lacto-fermented pickles can be kick-started by adding microbe-rich whey from straining yogurt... We'll teach you how to make your own at our next Family Cow Workshop!