Monday, June 22, 2015

Refrigerator Pickles

Saturday morning I got up and went to the Farmer's Market.  It's a small town and a small market but there's usually some interesting stuff.

I talked to a lady selling sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls.  Hers isn't sour either... more sweet than anything but dang good homemade bread.  It had a flavor that's slightly different than what I make but mine is also really good and I love the simplicity of it too much to go looking for something different right now.  I also picked up a bottle of raw honey, more herbs for the garden and some fun little cucumbers just right for munching.  They are tiny and striped like a very miniature watermelon and the flavor is slightly lemon-like. It was a fun little snack!

And I got cucumbers to make refrigerator pickles.

3 bottles of Bread & Butter slices and 2 of Dill spears.  And, yes... those
are old spaghetti sauce jars.  Since the pickles aren't processed only a tight-
fitting lid is needed so these are perfect.  And cute with their reproduction
Atlas marks!  Maybe for next year I'll spray paint the lids like I did for
my spice jars and hide the "Classico" on them.

Now comes the hard part: waiting for them to be ready to eat.

I really love how simple refrigerator pickles are to make.  Anything to do with food that doesn't heat the house up in summer is a good thing!  I've made the Dill pickles for years.  It's a recipe handed down from a friend of my Mom's that is easy and delicious.  This is the first time I've made Bread & Butter pickles this way and I'm excited to get a taste and decide if the recipe is a keeper.

Refrigerator Dill Pickles

Pack whole small cucumbers OR spears OR slices cut from larger cukes into 1-quart jars with dill and sliced garlic according to your taste.

Add to each jar:
2 Tbl salt
1 cup vinegar (white or a half-n-half mix with cider vinegar is good)
1 Tbl sugar
1/2 tsp alum
pinch of pickling spice

Fill each jar with cold water. Put on tight fitting lids (does not need to seal, just be airtight) and store in a cool, dark, dry place. Ready to eat after 3-4 weeks. Can be stored up to a year. I've also made 2 quarts worth directly in my old Tupperware PickleKeeper and put it in the back of the fridge for 3-4 weeks.

Refrigerator Bread & Butter Pickles

Thinly slice cucumber and sweet onion and layer them into 1-quart canning jar(s).  Be sure to pack the in the jar tightly as they will shrink when the hot brine is added.

For each jar you need to measure into a saucepan and bring to a steaming simmer, stirring until sugar is dissolved:
1 1/2 cups vinegar (I used half white and half cider vinegar)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp mustard seed
1/2 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp turmeric

Pour hot liquid over cucumbers and onions in jar,wipe rims and put tight fitting lids on.  Store in refrigerator.  Can be eaten after 48 hours.

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