A year ago, I vowed to look into canning and preserving as a way to enjoy our garden harvests later in the year. Well… that didn’t happen, mostly because the whole process seems too daunting to me. I don't want to order a canning kit and have to (gasp!) research what to do – not my style. Luckily, in my quest for palatable pickles, I found a perfect recipe on our site for the lazy canner in me. ‘Easy refrigerator pickles’ is a popular 5-star recipe by Cooking Light that requires no sterilization and no vacuum sealed cans.
Once I tracked down all my available glass jars and chopped the vegetables, this recipe came together super fast and was a lot of fun to make. Celery seed, mustard seed and ground turmeric were a few spices on the ingredient list that I don’t use on a regular basis but everything else I had on-hand. The pickling solution was made up of white vinegar with all the spices and garlic thrown in and brought to a boil. Once that mixture was bubbling, I poured it over the sliced cucumbers and onions, already in the jar. Amazingly, that’s really all there was to it. After tightening the lids on the jars, the only thing left to do was wait. The instructions say to chill for at least 4 days and store in the refrigerator up to one month.
A quick disclaimer about the pickling liquid! The turmeric in it stains everything it touches yellow, so be careful with your nice hand towels and countertops! See those white countertops in the photos? Yeah, I learned this lesson the hard way.
The real beauty of this recipe is there’s so much room for adaptation. Love sweet pickles? Increase the sugar. Not a fan of onions? Try replacing with carrots or sweet peppers. Like a little more heat? Add in a few fresh jalapeños or increase the amount of crushed red pepper. All that is certain is this: Carry a jar of these crunchy, sweet and spicy pickles to your next summer cookout and you will be a homemade hero.
For more pickling and canning ideas click here!