It's summer and it's time for pickles! While I'm a big fan of canning, sometimes the thought of standing over a stove in the dead-heat of summer is just too much. Enter the refrigerator pickle, a quick and delicious way to get your pickle fix without heat stroke.
This is an old-fashioned recipe, very sweet/sour, almost like a relish. It's from my mom who got it from my Aunt Lorraine way back in the 60s. You can improvise a lot with this: add bell pepper (yellow, red, green) or slip in a few sliced jalapenos to up the heat and cut some of the sweet. Red pepper flakes will do, too.
Aunt Lorraine's Refrigerator Pickles
makes about 2 quarts
8 c sliced cucumbers
1 c thinly sliced celery
1 large onion, finely diced
1 T salt
2 c sugar
1 c white wine vinegar
1 T celery seed
1 T mustard seed
Mix cucumbers, celery, onion and salt in a large glass bowl. Let stand l hour. Meanwhile, mix sugar, vinegar and celery and mustard seeds in medium saucepan. Heat to boil, cook and stir until sugar is dissolved. Let cool. Drain the vegetables well and place back in bowl. Pour vinegar mixture over drained vegetables. Refrigerate, covered, until cold. Store in glass jars in refrigerator up to 2 months.
1 green pepper, thinly sliced
1 red peppers, thinly sliced
1 or 2 jalapenos, thinly sliced
When I made this recipe this afternoon, I accidentally added dill seed instead of celery seed. It's really good! Also, since they came in my farm box, I added about one cup of little red pearl onions sliced in half instead of the large sliced onion. Very pretty. Thanks Mom!
(Image: Dana Velden)