Monday, August 8, 2011

My First Peck of Pickeled...Cucumbers

This was my first try at making my own pickles. I am still not 100% ready to try canning, as I still need a few supplies, so I went searching for a refrigerator pickle recipe that does not require canning and is good in the fridge for months. This is the one I settled on. In some flyers I received from the Penn State Extension on canning, it was cautioned to not alter the ingredients b/c the acidity level needs to be a certain amount in order to not have health issues. I wasn't sure if this also went for refrigerator pickles, but wasn't taking chances and only altered the spices since I didn't have them all. This made the liquid more cloudy than normal but did not really change the flavor.

4 pickling cucumbers cut in thin slices
1/2 medium onion (I chopped mine in my new toy)
1 cup Bragg's apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
4 1/2 teaspoons natural salt
2 teaspoons mustard seeds  (I am having trouble finding mustard seeds so I found a conversion to dry mustard and went with 4 tsp TOTAL dry mustard in the whol recipe)
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon turmeric  (after researching tumeric online, it looks like it is in the recipe for coloring and I did not have any so omitted it. I do have some now, though, for the next batch)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes  (I didn't have this either so went with the  powdered form of red pepper)
1/2 teaspoon celery seed

How to make it
Combine cucumbers, onion, vinegar, sugar, salt, mustard seeds, dry mustard, turmeric, crushed red pepper, and celery seeds; heat to boiling over high heat, stirring occasionally.

Boil 1 minute, stirring frequently.

Pour cucumber mixture into a large bowl; cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. (This is where the cucumbers lost their bright green coloring and turn more in pickle colors. It was kind of fun to watch!)

Cover and chill overnight before serving.

You can spoon cooled cucumbers and their liquid into jars with tight-fitting lids and refrigerate up to 4 weeks. Mine went first in a 1/2 gallon Mason jar and then into a quart jar once we ate some.

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