A good pickle crock is hard to find. I tried every cookware store I could think of. When I asked, the salespeople just looked at me funny. Some of them didn’t even know what a pickle crock is. I even tried a few old-fashioned hardware stores, the kind that sell everything from wheelbarrows to canning jars, the kind you find in small agricultural communities. No luck. One helpful lady recommended I look at an antique store. But I don’t do antique stores.
I did find some German sauerkraut crocks on the internet, but they cost a small fortune. I’m not quite ready to spend a couple of hundred dollars on a crock. I mean, maybe I won’t really get into pickling. Maybe I’ll make one batch of pickles and lose interest. Not that anything like that’s ever happened before.
I was just about ready to give up on my search. I was starting to think up ways to justify the expense of the German crock. Then, as I was shopping at a Japanese market for sushi ingredients, I found exactly what I was looking for.
The Japanese may call it a tsukemono press, but I know a pickling crock when I see one. Now, some purists may balk at the fact that it’s made of plastic, not stoneware, but I figured it was cheap enough to give it a shot. My pickling crock came with detailed instructions printed right on its side and a hefty weight to keep the pickles submerged beneath the brine.
Now I need to figure out what kind of pickles I want to make first. I might try kimchee or sauerkraut or cucumber pickles, depending on what the market has in store for me next.