I love everything pickled…pickled okra, pickled beets, pickled cucumbers. No, I’m not pregnant, just southern. In the south, we fry everything. If you can’t fry it, pickle it. If you can’t pickle it, grill it. If you can’t grill it, why would you eat it? Personally, the only thing I like fried is crawfish tails but that’s another story…
While sauntering through the farmer’s market as I do most weekends, I came across some big, plump cucumbers. Not the dark green perfect ones that you see in the store but oddly shaped, variegated green, real cucumbers. Like the kind that grows in back yard gardens. I had to have some as long as they weren’t like $5 apiece. 2 for a $1…score! Picking the two that were most round and good weight, it was time to make pickles. Can’t be too hard, right?
First, it was time to decide what kind of pickles to make. Sweet? Only on my Chicago dog. Bread ‘n butter? Nah, I’m more of a dill girl. So dill it is…until I found out they were actually ‘fermented’ for 3 – 4 weeks. I have a hard time waiting for 2 hours much less 4 weeks. And then I found it – Refrigerator Pickles! Not really any of them but has parts of all three.
Now, this project does require some time (sits for 2 hours x 2 before canning), some patience (wait two days for the finished product – don’t worry you can sneak one or two…or five early) and some mason or ball jars (like for jams and preserves; at the hardware store). But overall, making refrigerator pickles are a very simple, fun and inexpensive project. They were a great hit at our poolside barbeque!
Next time, I think I’ll add some fresh dill and see what happens.
2 large cucumbers, thinly sliced
2 cups cold water
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 Onion, diced
½ of a Red bell pepper, diced
10 -15 whole peppercorns
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Jalapeno pepper, diced
3 small mason style jars, sanitized*
- Cut cucumbers and jalapeno into very thin slices. Dice onion and bell pepper into small pieces. Mince garlic.
- Mix together cucumber, jalapeno, onion and bell pepper in a medium-large bowl. Add 1 tbsp. of salt and cover with plastic wrap. Allow cucumber mixture to sit for 2 hours.
- In a small sauce pan add vinegar, water, garlic, peppercorn and sugar and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 – 3 minutes and then turn off the heat.
- After the cucumber mixture has sat for two hours, drain the liquid. When the vinegar mixture is cool, pour over the cucumber mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 2 hours.
- Fill sanitized mason jars with cucumber mixture, top off with the juices. Seal the jar and place in the refrigerator.
- Leave for 2 days…I know the hardest part.