So, I walked by the next day, still lots of fruit. Three days later, still no love, the vines nearly dripped with cucumbers.
I made a mental note to return.
On reconnoiter day five, I made my move. With a fierce pit bull named Belmont covering my back, I picked cucumbers. Three pounds of cukes traveled home in a pouch made of my oversized sweater. Score!
Within three hours I made two quarts and a pint of classic dill pickles (with grape leaves donated by another NW Portland neighbor).
A few days later, I returned to the vines to see if the home owners had harvested the remaining cukes. They had not. So I harvested a second three-pound-batch of fruit. This time I make gherkins using the following recipe. In a month or so I'll be able to say if the recipe is good or bad.
At right is a photo of my freegan pickles.
Babushka Lusia's Gherkin Brine Recipe
Water - 1 litre
Coarse sea salt - 4 full tbs
Sugar - 2 full tbs
White vinegar(6%) - 2 tbs
Garlic cloves (peeled,whole) - 4
Bay leaves - 2
Black pepper corns - 4
Corriander seeds - 2tsp
Dried dill - a bunch
Celery leaves - a few
Wash your gherkins or cherry tomatoes.
Put cold water, salt, sugar and vinegar into a large pot and bring to a boil.
Put the gherkins (or tomatoes) into the jar together with the herbs and pepper; pour the hot brine over them and close the jar (not too tightly).
Put the jar in a warm place for 3/4 days (the longer you leave them out, the stronger they will taste), transfer it into your fridge after that.
I followed the recipe but processed the jars rather than making refridgerator pickles.
I hope free cucumbers make great pickles.