This summer, my mother carved out a little plot for herself at the nearby community garden, and has since been dealing with an explosion of produce. She stops by every few days and brings back carloads of onions, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, dill, nasturtium, huge unfolding savoy cabbages, cauliflower, etc, etc. Kevin and I are reaping the benefits. Our vegetable and fruit drawers of our fridge are overflowing, and the bottom two shelves are rapidly being overtaken as well.
I had read a recipe for fridge pickles a couple years back, and being intimidated by the canning process, decided to try it out. It’s easy, it’s delicious, and it’s incredibly versatile. I started with pickling cucumbers (those little, extra hard guys), but have used regular ones, anaheim peppers, jalapenos, bell peppers, and cabbage.
Not feeling like shelling out money for mason jars, I’ve been washing out old jars that held olives from Costco, or bean dip from Trader Joe’s. This recipe is a little willy-nilly as I like to throw things in without measuring. The beauty is that if in a few days, your pickles don’t taste fantastic, just add some more salt or vinegar or garlic. Below is a sample ingredient list, and I literally dump it all in a jar and shake it.
2 tbsp salt
2 tsp fresh dill
2 garlic cloves
Red pepper flakes or dried chilis to taste
A few peppercorns and/or mustard seeds
Enough cukes/peppers/cabbage to fill your jar
2:1 ratio of white vinegar to water
It takes a couple days to get really pickle-y but they’re delicious almost immediately. These last at least a week or two, and you can use the brine again just by sprucing it up a little with some new garlic.