Our entire purpose in growing cucumbers was to make pickles. My boyfriend loves pickles! We buy them by the gallon. He also raves about how a particular restaurant (that is no longer open) would bring out a tray of homemade pickles for the table to snack on while waiting for their meal.
Our cucumber vine started off doing well. I watered it everyday and checked on the little blooms. At one point, there were bunches of little yellow flowers budding all along the vine. Over the next couple days, I watched as little cucumbers began to sprout where those flowers were. Then, to my dismay, they all dried up. Since that time, the vine has produced one or two cucumbers at a time.
With 4 lovely cucumbers lined up on our counter, it was decided that we had enough to make our first batch of pickles. I wanted to make sweet pickles and my boyfriend wanted spicy pickles. We compromised a bit and added a bit of sugar to his recipe. He also didn’t include the seeds from the jalapeno. Since we like garlic, we also doubled the amount and added a couple of cloves to each jar.
The process was fairly simple, especially since we made refrigerator pickles and avoided the canning process. The only disadvantage to this is the shelf life is much shorter (only about 3 months) and we have to store it in the fridge. Since we were only making a small batch, that won’t be a problem. The hardest part of the entire process was waiting the 3 days for the pickles to pickle.
1 ½ to 2 lbs pickling cucumbers (5-6 medium cucumbers)
1 jalapeno pepper, quartered
2 cloves garlic, quartered
1 ½ tsp whole black peppercorns
1 ½ tsp ground coriander
1 ½ cups white vinegar
¾ cup apple cider vinegar
¾ cup water
¼ cup kosher salt
¼ cup sugar
Wash cucumbers and slice lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices. Arrange cucumbers in 1 quart jar and 1 pint jar (or 3 pint jars). Divide jalapeno, garlic, dill, peppercorns and coriander between jars.
In a medium saucepan, bring vinegars, water and salt to a boil, stirring to dissolve most of the salt. Divide brine among jars, almost to the top (no worry about leaving headspace here, these are refrigerator pickles. Fill ‘er up!). Screw on jar lids.
Leave jars on kitchen counter for at least 3 days. After that, refrigerate. They can be eaten after the three-day mark but the flavour will continue to develop so you can certainly leave them longer in the fridge before eating.