We had received a bunch of pickling cucumbers from our CSA farmer so I went off on the Internet trying to locate a good recipe for refrigerator pickles. I knew that I didn’t want to do the normal pickling thing, but there are recipes for refrigerator pickles around where you didn’t have to boil or salt or brine anything. Plus, I had eaten something like that in the past so I knew it existed.
A little research provided a lot of different recipes. The one that I decided to replicate was called Aunt Syble’s Refrigerator Pickles. The first thing you do is slice a bunch of onions and pickling cucumbers into thin cross-sections. I have found that six to eight cucumbers with two or three onions comes out about right.
The juice is a mixture of:
- 2 cups of sugar,
- 1 cup of red wine vinegar,
- a tablespoon (or so) of celery seed,
- and 1 tablespoon of salt.
There is no need to fret if the amounts are not exact.
You take a jar or some other container and layer the cucumbers and onions until you fill up the container. Pour the liquid over it and put it in the refrigerator. That is it. After a day or two the pickles are ready and they last a long time (weeks) if you don’t eat all of them first.
Theoretically, you can replenish the cucumber-onion mix after you eat some of them. It turns out that my sweetheart and her 93yo mother like the juice when they dish up some of them. (It is probably the sugar since they both have sweet tooth.)
I am sure that you can experiment with different herbs and vegetables in the mix. I thought I might add some carrots or peppers some time, but I haven’t gotten around to it. With herbs, there are a lot of other things you could add like whole peppercorns, sprigs of fresh herbs like rosemary or tarragon out of the garden.