My mom once canned just about everything out of the garden. We even have a root cellar which she would pack with pickles, green beans, peaches etc. This was all several years ago so I'm not too familiar with canning. Making jam is really the extent of my preserving experience but his year I changed that. I ran across this great recipe in our local paper for refrigerator pickles. The recipe is really easy and the best thing is you don't have to "can" or "process" these pickles because you put them straight into the refrigerator. All you need is food grade sealing containers. I think I let our cucumbers go a way beyond the whole pickling size so I sliced most of them in wedges; did one jar of waffle cut pickles for sandwiches and had a little left over brine which I used to pickle a few beets. I'm really excited to try these in a month or so. Refrigerator pickles claim to be much crisper and zestier.
- 4 quarts pickling cucumbers, rinsed well with blossom ends rubbed off
- 16 large garlic cloves, peeled and sliced4 heads fresh pickling dill, halved
- 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
- 1 quart cider vinegar
- 1 quart water
- 1/4 cup pickling spices
- 1/3 cup pickling salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 cup chopped fresh pickling dill
DirectionsPack the cucumbers into clean, airtight jars (they don’t have to be “canning” jars) or food grade plastic containers (such as Rubbermaid canisters), leaving ½ inch head space.
Divide the sliced pieces of garlic and halved heads of fresh pickling dill among the containers. Add a pinch (about ¼ of a teaspoon per quart) of the dried red pepper flakes to each container (another pinch of two should be used for those folks who enjoy more “bite” in their pickles).
Prepare the brine by combining the vinegar, water, pickling spices, salt, sugar, turmeric and 1 cup of chopped fresh dill in a nonaluminum pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Strain off the seasonings from the brine. Then ladle the hot brine into the containers, leaving ½ inch head space. Attach lids. Let cool to room temperature, then store in the refrigerator.
The pickles start to get good after seven to 10 days of aging, but really need at least a month to really blossom in flavor. Even then, they will continue to improve for 12 months or more.
Makes about 4 quarts.
Recipe by Everett Herald food columnist Jan Robert-Dominguez