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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

anti-recipe#38 refrigerator pickles

So, two weeks ago my sister brought me a giant container of cucumbers. Two weeks later they still sat there, getting limp and yellow-y. I planned to make pickles, got the stuff out one day with a fresh burst of baby-to-be-born-soon energy only to realize I didn't have the canning lids needed. A few days later I sent dada to the store to get some. He couldn't find them. Then a few days later I sent him back, describing in detail where the lids are in the store. He came back with the wrong size. A few days later I, with continued baby-to-be-born-soon energy, braved the grocery store with a belly and two crabby children, planning to pick up the right size lids. I got all the groceries loaded in the car, strapped in the kids, strapped in the ginormous belly so proud that I hadn't lost it in the middle of the store only to realize, yes, I had in fact forgotten to buy the lids. Unwilling to drag crabby children and giant belly back into store I drove home, defeated.

Of course then I called my mom, to whine, and then a flash of inspiration as I was talking to her. Hey, can't you just put them in the refrigerator in a giant jar and some kind of brine? Why, yes, my daughter, you can. Cool. Let's do that.

First chop up your cukes (I used appx 8-10 medium sized) into thin slices. We were thinking the thin slicing is needed to brine properly in the fridge? That is what my mom's recipe said anyway.

Then, get this, the recipe in her old school canning book says "Prepare a weak vinegar salt solution." Ummmm. That is it. So very June anti-recipe-ish right?? Love it.

I dumped in maybe 1/4 cup salt into 2 cups hot water, stirred to dissolve, then added a cup or so of vinegar. Seems weak enough, right?

I flavored this with four chopped up garlic cloves and about 2 tsps of dill seed.

Now I dumped the whole solution into my giant glass jar, full of sliced cucumbers. If it doesnt cover your cucumbers add some more water or another splash of vinegar.


Aaaaaaaaaaand we are done! No hot canning lids, no water bath. Just stick in the fridge and eat at your leisure. Perfect right? Really tasty too.

Oh, as a note, I couldn't find the cover for my jar and I realized the cukes were floating to the top so I put half a cup of water in a ziplock bag and lowered it into the jar, creating a seal and weighing the slices down into the brine. Yes brilliant, no I didn't come up with it myself. You can use this technique for curing sauerkraut too or for any pickling/fermenting veggies. It allows air bubbles to release as fermentation happens but keeps bacteria out.

Hmmm. Pickles. Totally going to get some now.


  1. I keep checking your blog, wondering if you've had that beautiful bumkin yet, and am always startled to find a new, creative, fabulous post. You have some wonderful energy, hope that birth story post will come soon! Best wishes!

  2. thanks! I have been wanting to make some fridge pickles...

  3. jayme - you are so sweet! (luckily i dont post in my "off moments" not right now anyway, trying to keep it positve and I CAN DO IT, you know?) and thanks for the well wishes...soon, no doubt...
    MGG - hope they turn out well! so yummy and EASY.


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