One of the beautiful aspects about owning your own business is the fact that you have flexibility in setting your own hours and booking your calendar! I try my hardest to plan things out accordingly in January (the off-season for photographers) and map out my year. There is one time of year that I have to mentally prepare myself for and that is the harvest of our summer garden! It can become somewhat overwhelming if I’m covered up with business as well; but someone has to do it! Eating as healthy as possible is one of our priorities in this family; and we prefer to grow it ourselves and stock up for the winter. I’m slowly learning the ropes of canning/ freezing/ and preserving our goodies. As daunting as it is right now, it brings me such fulfilment in the winter when I can pop open a jar of canned tomatoes, or a bag of frozen greenbeans, or even a jar of fig preserves! Another thing I’ve been forced to figure out is how to make pickles, due to my hubby’s love for planting cucumbers! Sometimes I think we go a little overboard when planting, but it always works out– either not enough rain, or like this year TOO much rain usually lessens the crop to just the right amount for us.
So I say all that to say… I’ve been confronted by many who are interested in how I make pickles.Now… being home with a 4 year old as well puts a major time constraint on things such as canning/ gardening in general, so I’ve discovered the beauty and ease of refrigerator pickles. No canning required! The only downside to it is, is the need for refrigerator space! There are two kind that I’ve started making: dill slices and bread & butter slices. The recipes are below! Enjoy! Find out refrigerated shipping cost if you are carrying canned food along.
Refrigerated Dill Slices
- 8- 1/4 cups sliced, pickling cucumbers
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 2 cups water
- 6 tbsp pickling salt (I cut this to 4.5 tbsp, to cut down on some of the saltiness)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp pickling spice (I omitted this because I don’t have any. lol)
- 7-1/2 tsp dill seed or weed
- 5 tsp mustard seed
- 1-1/4 tsp whole black peppercorn
- 5 cloves garlic, halved (optional)
Place cucumber slices in a large glass bowl and set aside. Combine vinegar, water, pickling salt, sugar, and pickling spice in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over med-hi heat, stirring to dissolve sugar and salt. Reduce heat, cover, and boil gently for 10 minutes. Pour pickling liquid over cucumber slices. Cover with lid and set aside until cooled to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Place 1-1/2 tsp dill seed or weed, 1 tsp mustard seed, 1/4 tsp peppercorn, and 2 garlic clove halves in each pint jar. Add cucumbers leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Ladel pickling liquid into jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
Allow them to marinate for 2 weeks before using (although I always can’t help but to taste test them before then!) Yields about 2 quart jars. Use within 5 months.
Refrigerated Bread and Butter Slices (thanks to my dear friend Carrie!)
- 4 cups sugar (I found this to be a little much for our liking, so I cut it back a bit!)
- 4 cups cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup canning salt (I also found this to be a little much too so cut back on it a bit!)
- 1-1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1-1/4 tsp celery seed
- 1-1/4 tsp mustard seed
Mix all ingredients but do not heat. Slice 8-10 cucumbers thin. Also slice 3 onions thin. Layer the cucumbers and onions in jars or containers that have lids. Pour vinegar mix over it. Refrigerate for 5 days before using. Keeps up to 7 months! Yields 2 quart jars.
The two end jars are dill; middle is bread and butter!