Monday, July 31, 2006

Refrigerator Pickles

Yesterday the kids and I went on a quest to see if we could find some pickling cucumbers. We didn't check all of our local farm stands, but we did check two of them. They did not have what I was looking for. I want small kirby cucumbers, and everyone had larger kirbys. I figure they didn't expect them to be ready for pickling yet, and went to the vines and found a whole mess of them- but bigger than normal. While not good for making my homemade kosher pickles, they are perfect for refrigerator pickles. A few dollars later we were on our return trip home with a plunder of fresh sweet corn, cucumbers, cantaloupe, garlic, new potatoes, and green peppers. Tomorrow I may check another farmer to see if they have the smaller picklers. But for today, the refrigerator version is perfect.

I first tried this recipe last summer, and it is wonderful! You can find my original post about them here. This time I still thought a teaspoon of red pepper flakes sounded like too much, so I used half that amount-which is more than last year. I also managed to remember to buy some dill seeds, so I used the seeds, as well as 1/4 teaspoon of dill weed for color. Here is a picture of the brine to my right. It is really a pretty brine. The reds from the pepper flakes, green from the dill weed. I just had to take a picture. I made three jars total- lining them up and filling them assembly line style. I like that the recipe is per jar- and super simple. Add ingredients and shake. Nothing is easier than that! For the third jar I also added a clove of garlic that I cut in half- I will be anxious to see if that imparts much to the finished pickle. After all three were complete I took the jars over to my trusty Foodsaver and vacuum sealed them. I am positive that by doing so, I just created a more intense and wonderful pickle. (Not to mention it was kind of fun watching the bubbles make their way out of the jar.)

And the end result? Fantastic homemade refrigerator pickles. And the onions are just as good as the pickles themselves. Delicious!They keep for at least a month- but I doubt they will last more than a week here. I do have the recipe in the Recipe Trove, so check it out and make some of your own. One of the best things about this recipe is that it is open to interpretation. Like mustard seeds? Add some. Want some heat? Add a chili to the brine. I'm thinking a Thai version with some cilantro, ginger, and a Thai chili would be awesome! Or add some fresh herbs like basil or mint for a different variations. If you do make some, let me know- I'd love to know what you think of them.

And let me just add a little...I'm so grateful to have air conditioning! Yesterday with the heat index it was up to 111ยบ yesterday! Today is supposed to be more of the same until a cold front comes through this evening with some storms. I'm looking forward to that! But I'm not much of an air conditioning person. I appreciate it, very much. But we don't have it on very often. Only once it gets unbearable and sticky during the day do I turn it on. And poor Zander keeps asking to go out to play. Yesterday I kept him iniside, but I think today I'll get out the pool and let him play for a little while.

Four more days until my baby sister gets married! I'm not sure how much I'll get posted over the next few days, but I'll try and get to the computer if I can. We're going to be a little busy...

1 comment:

AK said...

Now where oh where did I see those picklin' cucumbers ...