We have eaten cucumber salads, cucumbers in salads, and just sliced cucumbers with salt and pepper. Not to complain, but we were starting to get a little tired of eating one or two cucumbers a day.
So, I dug out my old refrigerator pickles recipe, and made a batch.
This recipe is very easy, and while is doesn’t produce those beautiful jars of dills that many people make, it also means you can make pickles without canning supplies and without boiling jars and waiting months to eat the pickles. These require one week of patience.
You will need cucumbers (no kidding), vinegar, sugar, pickling salt, mustard seed, celery seed, and turmeric. Optional additions are a white onion and a pepper. I also threw in a sliced jalapeno pepper and a few beans from the garden.
First, slice enough cucumbers to fit into an ice cream pail – or giant jar. We did not have a pail around, so as a first-time experiment, I used one of my grandma’s old jars that has a rubber seal on top. It worked.
I also used a mandolin to slice the cucumbers to ensure they were all the same thickness. You don’t have to go out and buy a mandolin – a sharp knife will do – but if you have a slicer, use it.
I also used the mandolin to slice one white onion. I then sliced a red pepper into ribbons and threw it in as well. As mentioned, I also tossed in a sliced jalapeno and a few beans.
Once sliced, put all the vegetables into the pail (or jar, in my case).
I then made the brine by heating sugar and salt in vinegar until dissolved. NOTE: be sure to use pickling salt as table salt has iodine and will discolour your pickles. My mom taught me that one.
Once dissolved, add celery seed, mustard seed and turmeric and pour the vinegar mixture over the cucumber mixture while hot. Stir.
Put in the fridge and stir once a day for a week. With the giant jar, it was difficult to stir, so I tipped it upside down and shook it daily. I also added another cucumber the second day, once everything settled in the jar. Feel free to do that. The key is to ensure the vegetables are all covered by the brine.
After a week, give them a try. They should be ready to enjoy. With all the recent information on how beneficial it is to eat fermented/pickled foods, go crazy!
- 1 ice cream pail of sliced cucumbers (with peels)
- add white onions and, if desired, peppers (red, yellow, and/or jalapeño)
- 1/3 cup pickling salt
- 2 3/4 cups sugar
- 2 cups vinegar
- 1 tsp celery seed
- 1 tsp mustard seed
- 1 tsp turmeric
Heat sugar and salt in vinegar until completely dissolved. Add remaining ingredients and pour over cucumber mixture while hot. Stir. Place in fridge and stir once a day for a week. You may have to add more cucumbers once they settle in the pail.