If you haven’t already guessed by the extreme heat, summer is here! Trees are vibrant, grass is green, and fruit and vegetables are growing in abundance. If you’re familiar with the basic concept of economics, Supply and Demand, you know that an abundance of fruits and veggies means high supply, and cheaper prices. I like to take advantage of the season by buying (or growing!) veggies and fruit in bulk. Then I preserve them by canning or freezing so we can enjoy the tastes of summer, all year long.
One really simple way to preserve cucumbers is to make refrigerator pickles. It requires minimal effort and has a huge pay off. Some stores do carry pre-made pickling spices that can make this process even simpler, but we like to do things the old fashioned way around here: completely from scratch!
These pickles are crunchy, tart, spicy and incredibly flavorful.
- 9 cups water
- 3 cups apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar)
- 1/4 cup sea salt
- 3 tbsp peppercorns
- 3 tbsp mustard seeds
- 3 tbsp coriander seeds
- fresh dill weed
- 12 bay leaves
- 24 garlic cloves, peeled
- 5 large cucumbers or 20 mini cucumbers
- 3 jalapenos, sliced
- 6 pint-sized mason jars
What to do:
To create the brine, bring water, vinegar and salt to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
In a small bowl, combine peppercorns, mustard seeds, and coriander seeds.
(You may notice that those are not coriander seeds. I couldn’t find actual seeds, so I opted for the ground version. Nevertheless, I still recommend seeds if you have ’em)
Grab 6 clean mason jars and line them on the counter or a table. They do not need to be sterile, since they will be refrigerated, but they do need to be washed and clean. Put two or more sprigs of fresh dill in each jar, followed by 2 bay leaves, 4 cloves of garlic, and 1+ tbsp of spice mix.
If you find mini cucumbers, those would be great for this recipe! Simply wash and pack into jars.
If you’re using full-size cucumbers, wash and quarter lengthwise. You may need to trim the cucumbers so they fit into the jars, leaving 1/2 inch of head space. Pack jars with cucumbers, then wedge 1-4 jalapeno slices down the sides.
Pour cooled brine into the jars, making sure they completely cover the cucumbers. Wipe rim with a clean paper towel, then top with lid and ring.
Refrigerate immediately. Allow to pickle for 48 hours before enjoying. These should keep good in the refrigerator for 6-12 months!
Do you like to pickle or can? What is your favorite produce to preserve?
Shared on Mostly Homemade Monday