Russian gherkins

This is a brine only recipe for pickling gherkins and it will ferment so don’t keep it in closed jars.

See also: Pickling vegetables

This is based on 1kg of gherkins.

Pickling brine:

  • 2l water
  • 70g sea salt

Boil the water and dissolve the salt.  Allow it to cool.


  • 8 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch of fresh dill
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 4 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 3 oak, blackberry or cherry, leafs
  • 2 bay leafs
  • De-seeded red chilli or fresh horseradish (optional)

Wash the gherkins and top and tail them.

Put the dill in the bottom of the jar and pack one layer of the gherkins in vertically.

Cover the first layer of gherkins with brine.

Add the seasoning on top of the gherkins and then pack the rest of the gherkins in.

Fill to the top with brine and weigh the gherkins down with a saucer.  Cover with a cloth and store them so the air can circulate underneath the jar.  It’s normal for white foam to appear on the top of the liquid.

They are ready to eat after two days.

Russian brine pickled gherkins

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Specialist tool

I was doing a bit of tidying up work on the fuel tank which involves inserting some bolts vertically upwards.  The problem with this – as I learned before – is that, under the influence of gravity, they will drop back into the socket which doesn’t leave enough thread protruding to bite into the nut.

Following the principle of the sump plug socket I put a slice of fuel hose into an 11mm socket.

11mm socket with fuel hose in it

The bolt now sits on top of the fuel hose with the full amount of thread available.

11m socket with fuel hose in it holding up a bolt

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Although someone had painted the heads silver, the original rear wing retaining screws were rusty – to the point one had seized fast and had to be cut out when we took the wings off during the rechassis.

Original 2CV rear wing retaining screws

SPOG do replacement stainless screws for these so I picked up a pack.

SPOG and original 2CV rear wing retaining screws compared

As we’d done the hard work when we took the wings off, and had reassembled using copper grease, the old screws came out one at at time to be replaced with a new one.

SPOG 2CV rear wing retaining screws

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The PSM is a Soviet pistol from the late 1970s which has gotten itself quite the fanciful reputation here in the US, thanks to extreme rarity and some imaginative magazine articles. Common lore would have you believe that the PSM and its 5.45x18mm bottlenecked cartridge is capable of astounding feats of armor penetration, and that it was designed specifically for KGB assassins.

The truth is rather more mundane – the PSM was a sidearm for high ranking officers who did not want to deal with carrying a Makarov pistol. Much like the US use of the 1911 and the Colt 1903 back during WW2, general-rank Soviet officers carried sidearms as badges of rank, not as actual combat weapons. To that end, the PSM is extremely thin to make it as unobtrusive as possible. The 5.45x18mm cartridge is basically a centerfire .22 long rifle ballistically. It does offer armor penetration that would be surprising to some, because its metal jacket, mild steel core, and small frontal area are all beneficial in piercing Kevlar. That is a side effect of the design, however, and not an original intent.

Mechanically, the PSM is a simple blowback action, and very similar to the Makarov.

Thanks to Mike Carrick of Arms Heritage magazine for providing the PSM and its ammunition for this video! See his regular column here:

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