Refrigerator Pickles – Cool Preservation in the HOT Summer Kitchen!

Behold the wonders of homemade pickles!  On hot days the mere thought of canning has me sweating.  The rewards are great but you have to be able to withstand the heat in the kitchen when prepping to preserve.  Right?

On the contrary, preserving garden produce doesn’t always have to involve periods of prolonged heat.  The following recipes were passed to me from a friend and before that they were most likely passed from one family member to the next.  My husband and son can’t seem to get enough of the yummy-luscious Refrigerator Bread & Butter Pickles!  They are oh-so-easy and put an end to the mush resulting from heat processing.

Refrigerator Bread & Butter Pickles

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9 cups Sliced Cucumbers
1 Large Sliced Onion
2 Tbsp Canning Salt
2 1/2 cups of Sugar
1 cup Vinegar
1 Tbsp Celery Seed

Optional – Red Pepper Flake for a little zing!

Other spice options you may wish to include are mustard seed and turmeric (I’m thinking of my grandma’s pickles).

Place sliced cucumbers and onions in a sterilized canning jar or food grade pail.  Add in all remaining ingredients, cover, shake to combine.  The mix will not appear to have enough liquid but give it time for the magic to happen!  Refrigerate and shake or stir daily for the next couple of days – after that, they are ready to eat!

Refrigerator Dill Pickles (by the jar)

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3-6 Cucumbers
2 cloves of Garlic
1 Bay Leaf
1 tsp Mustard Seed
1/4 tsp Celery Seed
2 Tbsp Dill Seed  OR  2 sprigs of Fresh Dill gone to seed
1 Tbsp Canning Salt
1 cup White Vinegar
1 1/2 cup Boiled Water

Optional – 1 tsp Red Pepper Flake (more or less depending on how spicy you want it) or try some fresh horseradish for added flavor!

Place Garlic, Bay Leaf, Mustard Seed, Celery Seed and Dill into a clean, sterilized, quart jar.   Slice or spear Cucumbers and pack them firmly into your jar on top of the other ingredients. Combine the Water, Vinegar and Salt in a separate, container.  Once the Salt has dissolved, pour liquid over the contents of the jar until all Cucumbers are covered.  Seal, refrigerate, shake daily for approximately 3-5 days then enjoy!

As always, unless you heat process any of the featured pickles, they are not fit for shelf storage!  Be sure to refrigerate immediately.   I know some who swear they are still eating these summer pickles far into the winter.  They are so good you probably won’t have to worry about a “use by” date;  chances are, they will be gone shortly after you make them!

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