Grit Blogs > Pasture Deficit Disorder

Easy Refrigerator Spicy Bread and Butter Pickles

A Wanna Be PioneerHello, GRIT friends. I'm sorry I've been AWOL for so long! But I'm back with a tasty and super easy recipe for you, and I hope you'll enjoy it.

I've made a batch of these with cucumbers I purchased because the ones I was growing weren't ready yet. They disappeared so quickly, I had to make another huge batch – this time with my own homegrown cucumbers. You can buy pickling cucumbers in grocery stores or farmers' markets. These pickles are in high demand at work and with our family!

jar of pickles Please note this recipe has not gone through the canning process and must be kept refrigerated.

Spicy Bread and Butter (Refrigerator) Pickles

1  1/2 to 2 pounds pickling cucumbers
1 sweet onion – I used half of one
Several garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons pickling salt, divided
Approximately 1 cup white vinegar, divided
Approximately 1/2 cup cider vinegar, divided
1  1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons pickling spice
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste

Wash and slice your cucumbers a uniform thickness. Slice onions to desired thickness. I used half an onion and sliced it in 1/4-inch slices and separated the half rings. Peel and slice garlic.

Combine cucumbers and onions in a very large bowl. Sprinkle with half the pickling salt and toss to mix well. Add the remaining salt and mix well. Fill the rest of the bowl with as much ice as possible. Crushed or small cubes work well. Let cucumbers sit with ice for 1 1/2 hours. This step helps them stay crunchy.

cucumbers salted and ready for ice

After 1  1/2 hours, rinse cucumbers very well to remove salt.

Meanwhile, in a large, non-reactive pot, combine 1 cup white vinegar and 1/2 cup cider vinegar (I use Bragg's with the mother). Add sugar to the vinegar and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar melts. Add pickling spice, other spices and garlic, and return to a boil. Add cucumbers and onions and bring back to a boil.

Here's why I say approximately on the vinegars. I didn't have enough liquid to mostly cover all the cucumbers. So I added a big splash of white vinegar and a smaller splash of cider vinegar so the cucumbers were mostly covered in the liquid.

Cook for 5 to 8 minutes, until cucumbers just start to get some translucence to them, stirring occasionally. You don't want them to get mushy.

Remove from heat and, with a slotted spoon, spoon pickles into pint jars. I got four pints. Then ladle – careful, it's still hot! – liquid over the pickles in the jars. You want liquid to the top of the jar. Let cool before covering with lids and storing in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

Until next time, worms rock, bees rule and chickens are my Zen.

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