By Kelly Bogard
A few years ago, my mom was having a tea party with several friends from church. Yes, a real English tea party, including hats and cucumber sandwiches. I believe these Pineapple Party Sandwiches were there, too. The ladies all had a lovely time and, as they were cleaning up, they realized they had several cucumbers left over. My wonderful mother, never letting anything go to waste, offered to take them home and find a use for them. This led to the creation of Refrigerator Pickles.
My mom, like many other Texans, grew up spending part of the summer canning fresh vegetables and fruits to enjoy well into the winter months. Unfortunately, convenience has led way to a generation that may not ever know the feeling of accomplishment after a long day of canning. I, for that matter, do not know much about it. I help make jelly and salsa every once in a while, but I have never canned whole fruits or vegetables. And even though this recipe is not fully “canning,” it is a great way to learn and to teach a new generation about what can be done with fresh products.
For Refrigerator Pickles, you will need…
3-4 medium salad cucumbers
1 large white onion
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1-1/2 cups white vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. mustard seed
1/2 tsp. celery seed
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
1/2 tsp. coarse black pepper
Now, when I say fully canning, I am referring to long days of boiling jars, lids, rings and cooking. These pickles don’t require that, making it perfect for summer. And do you really think the pickles will still be there after a few weeks? Of course not! They are going to be eaten way too quickly.
First things, first. Wash, dry and peel the skin from the salad cucumbers. Cut them into fairly thin slices and place them in a large bowl.
Thinly slice the onions and add them to the bowl with the cucumbers. Toss by hand until well combined. You want to have about 6 cups of vegetables total.
Mix together the vinegar, sugar, garlic and all of the spices in a small pot. Bring to a boil for one minute and then remove from heat.
While the vinegar mixture is still warm, place the cucumbers and onions in a jar. Pour the warm liquid over them and let them steep in the juices. Cover and refrigerate for four days without opening.
The stove was on for only a few minutes and I could make a batch perfectly sized for my crew. Now that’s my measure of a good recipe! But, if you do want to make an extra large batch, please note they will last in the fridge for about one month.
So, the next time life throws you extra cucumbers, make pickles. From all of us at Texas Table Top, enjoy!
Recipe: Refrigerator Pickles
Summary: Cold, crisp and tart summer veggie
- 3-4 medium salad cucumbers
- 1 large white onion
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1-1/2 cups white vinegar
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. mustard seed
- 1/2 tsp. celery seed
- 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
- 1/2 tsp. coarse black pepper
- Wash, dry and remove the skin from the cucumbers.
- Slice and place in a large bowl.
- Slice white onion and add to the bowl.
- Mix well, tossing by hand.
- In a small pot, combine vinegar, sugar, garlic and spices.
- Boil for one minute and remove from heat.
- Place the cucumber and onion mixture into a large jar and pour the hot liquid over it.
- Cover and refrigerate for 4 days before serving.
- Pickles will stay fresh for approximately one month.
Prep time (duration): 10 minutes
Resting time (duration): 4 days
Number of servings (yield): 12-16