My Husband's Favorite Pickles

I've been making these refrigerator pickles for years, but I hadn't made them for a couple of years at least.  This spring, Mike made a special request for more pickles.  It's such a simple recipe that I wanted to share it with you.  If you have a bunch of cucumbers from your garden, I can help you get rid of half a dozen of them or so.  Here's what you'll need:

2 3/4 pounds of cucumbers (about 5-6 medium), peeled or unpeeled, as you prefer
1 cup sliced onions (about 1 large), yellow or sweet, as you prefer
3 cups vinegar, at least 5 percent acidity (I used good old white vinegar)
1 1/2 cups water
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 teaspoons pickling salt
3 teaspoons celery seed
3 teaspoons mustard seed
3 cloves garlic

And here's how you make them:

Wash and sterilize 3 quart or 6 pint jars.  Washing them in a hot dishwasher is sterile enough.  Peel the cucumbers if you like.  It's fine to leave the peels on, but we like them off.  If you want to make them pretty, you can take the tines of a fork and score the unpeeled cucumbers for a "pinked" look.  Peel one large onion.

Then slice the cucumbers into about 1/4-inch rounds.  Cut the onion in half, pole to pole, slice thinly, and separate half rings.

In a large bowl, layer cucumbers and onions.  This step just makes it easier to get them into the jars with a good mix of cucumber and onions.

Meanwhile, in a large non-aluminum saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, celery seed and mustard seed.  You might add more sugar if you like a bread and butter pickle flavor.  I wouldn't add less, however, because they are pretty tart the way they are.  If you like that taste of vinegar that knocks your head off, you can experiment with adding less.  I'm just giving you fair warning.

Bring the vinegar mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.

Then, place one garlic clove in the bottom of each quart jar, and add the cucumber mixture.  Just stuff them in the jar--nothing fancy--pressing them lightly to fit as many as possible.

When you have all the cucumbers in the jars, ladle the hot vinegar mixture over them until it reaches the top.  Lid them, and allow to cool before placing them in your refrigerator.  Allow them to refrigerate at least 24 hours to blend the flavors.  They will keep in the refrigerator for up to two months.

Since these pickles are not processed, you can use any jar you have around.  I snagged some jars I got at Costco with something in them like garlic.  They're big jars.  I like something with a wide mouth because it makes it easier to pack.  You can use regular quart mason jars, but you don't need new lids.  Mayonnaise jars will work too, but again, I like the wider mouth.

Mike loves to make "pickle sandwiches" using two slices of bread, a slice of cheese, and as many pickles as he can fit without having them fall out.  If you like bread and butter pickles, you'll love these.  But even if you don't, these are definitely a sour pickle rather than sweet.  The sugar just tames the vinegar so that they aren't as sour as a dill pickle. 


2 comments from clever and witty friends:

Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

What kind of cheese does Mark use with the pickles on his sandwich? I have never thought of those two ingredients on bread together until just now, Barb !~!

Karen Veldhouse said...

we put these pickles with peanut butter for a sandwich. They are great.