It is not unusual to find a variety of pickles in our refrigerator and pantry. This summer has been a season of making refrigerator pickles from the cucumbers in our garden. It seems once we pick a basketful, a few days later we have more. Really I can not complain. We are just happy that our garden is doing so well despite the dry weather, that we have had in the Midwest.
Past summers, I have used my great aunts recipe that she used on the farm. It is a very simple recipe that took a course of several weeks to "age" to perfection. It is a good recipe. This season we created the following refrigerator pickle recipe. It takes a week to rest in the refrigerator but the reward is wonderful.
One important task that you need to remember to do is sterilize the jars you will be using. You can do this one of two ways, first by washing with hot water in the dishwasher, or second by boiling on the stove top in boiling water for 10-15 minutes. Have the jars dry and ready before starting to prepare the pickles.
2 lbs cucumbers (sliced) 2 cups white vinegar 4 cups water 1 T. coarse sea salt 5 garlic cloves (crushed) 2 tsp. yellow mustard seed Roughly 5T fresh dill spears (this is optional if you do not like dill) My husband does not like dill so we have made the recipes with dill and the other half minus the dill.
Wash the cucumbers and peel the skin (if you do not like the skin). Slice the cucumbers in the "thickness" desired. Crush the garlic cloves and set aside.
Bring the vinegar, water and salt to a boil on the stove top. Add the crushed garlic and mustard seed to the vinegar/water/salt mixture and boil for 5 minutes. Then turn the heat off and set aside.
At the bottom of the sterilized jars, place sprigs of fresh dill inside the bottom of the jar(s) and begin arranging the cucumbers on top of the dill. It is important to add layers of cucumbers and dill, then pour in some of the vinegar mixture as you go. Once you have filled your containers be sure to let the cucumbers/dill/vinegar mixture cool down to room temperature.
Place the filled jars in the refrigerator for one week before eating. This recipe allows for the pickles to stay in the refrigerator for up to one month, but I guarantee you will have them eaten before then.
* the photograph above is refrigerator pickles minus the dill.