Method

Remove one end of a small barrel with a 1½ pail capacity. Line the bottom of the barrel with 3 sprigs of tarragon, 3 large celery roots, and 3 large parsley roots, including all the green leaves from the root vegetables. The roots may be cut up and spread out. Fill half the barrel with washed and dried small cucumbers. Cover the cucumbers with the same amount of roots and greens and intersperse 3 red pepper pods among the greens. Wrap the peppers in greens so they do not touch the cucumbers, then fill up the rest of the barrel with cucumbers. Cover them with the same quantity of roots and greens and place 3 more red pepper pods on top. Next, add 1 glass salt to 1 pail of good vinegar and bring to a boil. Let the brine cool before pouring over the cucumbers. After the cucumbers have absorbed the brine, fill up the barrel with more of the same brine. Cork the barrel, seal with tar, and store in a cold place, but not on ice.

*The name for these cucumbers comes from Nezhin, a very old town in the Ukraine about 100 kilometers northeast of Kiev. An early settlement in this location was mentioned in the Russian chronicles of the mid twelfth century; by the mid seventeenth century, the town had become an important trading center.

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