6/23/10

Refrigerator Pickles

Not into canning? These are quick and easy pickles anyone can make, and a great way to use excess cucumbers. Substitute young zucchini and they are equally crunchy and delicious! You can recycle your empty peanut butter jars or buy canning jars. I like the one-piece white plastic lids sold in the canning jar section for these pickles vs. the two-piece metal canning jar lids.

For each pint canning jar you need:
  • 2 pickling cucumbers about the height of the jar (or one small zucchini)
  • 1 whole garlic clove
  • 1 tsp mustard seed
  • 1/8 tsp celery seed
  • 3/4 T salt
  • 2 tsp dill seed
  • 1/4 tsp hot pepper seeds
  • 3/4 c white vinegar
  • 3/4 c water
Cut unpeeled cucumbers in half or quarter lengthwise, and about 1/2" shorter than the jar. Pack the cucumbers into the jar, turning some spears upside down to fit better. You can really pack them tightly, they shrink a bit when pickled. If using zucchini, cut similarly and pack into the jar. Or experiment and cut the veggies in chunks, and add different veggies. Add the garlic clove and the herbs and spices. In a measuring cup, mix the vinegar and water, then pour into the jar to cover the veggies. Tighten the lid and shake the jar to mix the ingredients. Add more vinegar mix if it has settled. Store in the refrigerator. They start to "marinate" or pickle in 24 hours, and are yummy after 4 days. These are not air-tight sealed jars, so best eaten within a few weeks. They don't usually stay around that long in my house!