Monday, August 15, 2016

No Cook Refrigerator Dill Pickles

What do you do when you find yourself with more cucumbers than you can eat, and a couple of crazy kids?  Make pickles, of course!  I chose not to go through with canning them (did you read the part about the crazy kids?), so we went the refrigerator pickles route.  I even tossed in some yellow squash for color and variation.  And because I can only come up with so many things to do with it!  Being a science geek, I couldn't help but try slight variations in each jar until I found my favorite.  Granted, it may have backfired because Michael and I prefer two different recipes, but it's all good. Seriously, though, they are ALL good!  And super easy with no cooking required.  Here's how Mama and her crazy kiddos make it:

Refrigerator Dill Pickles

(makes 3 pint jars)
- 3 medium-large cucumbers
- 1 small-medium yellow squash
- 1/2 onion, sliced
- 1 1/2 c. vinegar (white or cider)
- 3-6 T. sugar (more on this later)
- 3 T. kosher or canning salt
- 4 1/2 T. dried dill weed, or 6 T. chopped fresh dill
- 1 1/2 t. mustard seed
- 3 T. minced garlic, or about 6 cloves
- 3 wide mouth pint jars

1.  Wash all the vegetables, leave skins of cucumber and squash in tact.  Using a mandolin slicer, the slicing blade on a food processor, or a good old-fashioned knife and more patience than I possess, slice the cucumbers and squash into 1/8" thin slices.  Slice some onion to toss in there, too.


2.  Enlist little helpers to stuff the cucumbers, squash, and onion into the jars.  You want it pretty packed in there.

3.  In a measuring cup, combine 1/2 c. vinegar, 1-2 T. sugar, 1 T. salt, 1 1/2 T. dill, 1/2 t. mustard seed, and 1 T. minced garlic and stir until sugar and salt are mostly dissolved.  Pour into one of the jars and repeat for each of the other two jars. 

This is where it can vary a little.  My favorite recipe that we tried was cider vinegar with 2 T. sugar.  Michael liked white vinegar with 1 T. sugar.  The batch with white vinegar and no sugar is perfect for sandwiches, burgers, etc., but a little tart just for eating.  So do what feels right or try a different combination in each jar and decide for yourself!

4.  Place the lids on and shake/twist/swirl to evenly distribute; refrigerate.  This gets easier as the pickles sit and the salt draws out the water.  Continue to turn over and swirl a bit every hour or so.  After 6-8 hours, you will have pickles!  Keep refrigerated and eat within 6 weeks.  How simple is that?!

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