OK, this in, in response to our Sorta Readers Choice entry:
“OK, any and all would float my boat. But given that we have all kinds of misc. veggies right now, how about Fridge Pickles II. (would it work for beans, okra, broccoli, other odds and ends as well as cukes?)”
In a word, yup!
The major differences between fridge and ‘real’ pickles is speed of prep and longevity. Truth be told, we usually do both kinds when we’re in this mode, so that we have some to enjoy quickly, and more to hold on to for the long haul.
Here’s the scoop for our revised version of the noble fridge pickle that we’re enjoying now.
First off, another resounding YES in response to the question, can I pickle _______? Yes, you can and should try it. They’re tasty, quick, and add to a meal, and always a treat for the vast majority of guests! Beans, okra, broccoli, chiles, cauliflower (One of our big faves), Brussels sprouts (AMAZING!), baby onions or carrots, garlic, you name it!
Here we go, then:
1. Wash your jars in the dishwasher, or if by hand, do so really well and rinse thoroughly!
2. Prep your chosen veggies. You can cut and size veggies to whatever you prefer, keeping in mind that the bigger the cut, the longer it takes for everything to infuse.
3. For spicing, use a 1/2 teaspoon of dominant notes and a 1/4 teaspoon of minors. The pickling spice blend you saw in the pics earlier is why we call this Fridge Pickle II; the new blend includes a Pepper blend (Red, white,black, green) and whole coriander seed
as the dominants, with juniper seed, mustard seed, fennel seed, cumin seed, whole garlic cloves, and dill as the minors. Drop the blend right into the jars in equal measure.
4. Prep your pickling bath: We used 1 cup of white vinegar, but if you don’t mind or even like the color, you can use apple cider or any other vinegar that floats your boat. Use multiples of this basic ratio as needed for your batches.
Bring to a boil:
1 cup vinegar
1 cup good water, (Meaning, if it’s like our tap water, filter it first!)
1 Tablespoon non-iodized salt (Iodine makes things turn funky colors and adds a nasty metallic
taste, so don’t go there. We use pickling salt from our pals at Leener’s for ours, it is a better mousetrap!)
OPTION: 1 teaspoon of sugar if you like a sweeter pickle
5. Pour the hot brine over your goodies, completely covering the veggies.
6. Seal your jars – You aren’t canning, per se, so you can reuse old lids if their clean, or you can reuse pickle/sauerkraut/whatever jars too!
And there ya have it! You DO need to let things work their magic though, so resist the urge to sample for at least a week, and two weeks are better yet – The longer they hang, the better they get! Fridge pickles are good for at least 3 or 4 months, if they last that long. Any longer than that, it’s best to toss the remainder onto the ol’ compost heap and do a fresh batch.