Are their things that you routinely make but don’t really think about how good they are? I’ve been making refrigerator pickles for years and years and years… and I know we like them a lot, however I forgot how much better they are to outsiders!!
This past weekend we had some out of town family members over for a quick meal and I set out a container of our homemade refrigerator pickles. Everyone loved them! We have had them for so many years we didn’t realize how special they are. I promised to put together a little post with my special refrigerator pickle brine, I hope you enjoy it!
My standard pickle is lots of really fresh baby pickler cucumbers (whole, spears or sliced), with a bunch of fresh dill (left whole on stems just stuff them into your container) Lots of fresh peeled garlic cloves and if you like your pickles with a little spice – throw in a hot pepper (cayenne, jalapeno, hungarian wax, etc all work great!!) And I’ll toss in a little mustard seed and black peppercorns if I have them, but I’ve left them out and it’s been just as good. It’s not an exact science folks!! Cucumbers, Salt, Vinegar and you can make your own special blend of seasonings!
I also use this brine to pickle Hot Peppers – I slice jalapenos and/or hungarian wax pepper rings – pack them in a container, top with brine and store them in the fridge to use as needed!
I’ve also used this brine to “Can” a vegetable gardenia mix (cauliflower, carrots, peppers, onions, etc) in sterilaized jars with hot brine, process with 2 part lids in a waterbath for 30 min. (and I’ve made dilly beans the same way adding green beans, garlic and dill)
If you’ve ever grown your own cucumbers you know it’s feast or famine. It seems like one day you have 3 cucumbers, tomorrow you’ll have 300. I’ll mix up big batch of the brine and keep it in the fridge. Each day I’ll put the fresh cucumbers I pick in to a jar and add brine – maybe adding just 3 cucumbers a day to a big 1/2 gallon jar until it’s filled up!
This is a great way to eliminate one thing you buy in store. There’s no additives or colors. Just real foods and really simple!
- Heat over medium high heat to melt the salt and warm it up.
- Pack your veggies in a glass container with a lid (I like to use 1/2 gallon canning jars) and pour your brining liquid over your veggies to fully submerge them, put on the lid and keep them in the fridge.
- After a few weeks you can start eating them - they get more flavorful with time but we start eating them just weeks after and they keep for at least a year in the fridge!