Quick & Easy Refrigerator Pickles

Quick & Easy Refrigerator Pickles

Quick & Easy Refrigerator Pickles

Last post I wrote, I mentioned that we had recently gone for a two day visit to my son and daughter in law in Tennessee. Beyond the fact that they made us sleep in the worlds most uncomfortable bed and I think my body was wrecked for life because of it, there was at least the consolation of good food 😛 I did teach the boy to cook, after all. Okay, so I stink at teaching anyone to cook because I hate when anyone hovers. He learned by watching and learning to appreciate food. Yeah, that’s the ticket. 😀

One of the things he made was some refrigerator pickles. I love to can, but have never made pickles because they seem to be too much trouble, plus I’ve heard horror stories about home canning them. For some odd reason, it never occurred to me to try refrigerator pickles. But, he had made them and I tried them out of politeness. And loved them. Usually, I’m really picky when it comes to pickles; bread and butter ones are about it and then, not very often. After looking at the recipe however, these seemed so easy, so foolproof, that I wanted to give them a try.

While keeping the brine basically the same, I DID change it up enough to make it my own and the great thing about this recipe is that you can do the same. I wanted them to be a touch sweeter, plus I added some sliced onions to the jars to give them a touch more flavor. I threw some hot pepper flakes in one of the jars to give them a kick and I think those are my favorites. Sweet, vinegary, spicy, perfect for just grabbing from the jar for a quick bite. A couple of my cucumbers had gotten mushy, so I only got 3 and a half pints out of this. With the full 2 lbs of cucumbers, plan on a full four pints. These will keep for weeks in the fridge, but I promise, they won’t last that long. These would also make great hostess gifts or if you can find some decent cukes in the Winter, good Christmas gifts.
You know the drill… 🙂

I am posting this how I made them, but feel free to change up the spices, add in some sliced zucchini or whatever veggie you’d like (cauliflower, maybe?), add some hot peppers, more of a favorite spice, some dill… you get the idea. Make these YOUR pickles. Just keep the basic brine the same with respect to vinegar, water and sugar. The brine is simple to make if you need more brine.

Quick & Easy Refrigerator Pickles

  • 2 lbs firm, small cucumbers (I used a 2 lb bag of small “salad cucumbers” from WalMart), thinly sliced (do that how it makes you happy. I did chips, but you could use a mandolin to slice long ways for sandwich slices.)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onion
  • 1 cup vinegar (I used cider- use white if you want a sharper flavor)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2/3 cup sugar (plain white sugar) (if you want a pickle that is less sweet, you can make it 1/2 a cup instead)
  • 1 tablespoon pickling spices (in the spice section of the grocery store; or with the canning supplies)
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (If you don’t want to put it in the whole batch, just sprinkle some in the jar you want spiced up after you add the brine)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  1. Get out four pint jars and scrub them thoroughly with soap and hot water. Dry them and then pack each one tightly with the cucumber slices and onion, or whatever veggies you’re using.
  2. In a medium pot, combine the rest of the ingredients (remember, hold off on the red pepper flakes if you don’t want the full batch to be spicy). Stir, then bring to a full rolling boil.
  3. Carefully pour the brine over the contents of each jar (remember, you can easily boil up some more brine if that isn’t enough), filling to near the top of the jar, trying to make sure the veggies are covered. Cap the jars with clean lids and bands, let cool, then refrigerate for at least 24 hours to let the flavors develop. I went into the fridge and gently shook mine up a few times just to make sure the top veggies were getting brined too.
  4. Eat. Enjoy. Serve plain, on burgers or sandwiches, use in potato salad, etc etc.
Quick & Easy Refrigerator Pickles

Quick & Easy Refrigerator Pickles

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Nectarine And Three Berry Crisp

Nectarine And Three Berry Crisp

Nectarine And Three Berry Crisp

The guys and I went to visit my second oldest son Cameron and his wife Tiffany last week. They live in Tennessee with a mountain view and it’s so darn pretty it will make your eyeballs bleed.  No, I’m not sure why your eyeballs would bleed. Don’t pressure me for logic here. I have a headache.

But…while we were there, Cam made a yummy dinner one night of a smoked brisket and some homemade refrigerator pickles (recipe coming soon, since I swiped it from him). For dessert that night, we had a Smores Pie my daughter in law made (also recipe coming soon. it was SO good!) and I also whipped up a three berry and nectarine crisp. I made one similar to this last Summer, but this one was much better, I have to say. It wasn’t as sweet, I’ve perfected my streusel since then (If I do say so myself) and I omitted the lime cream I served with that one and we had it with ice cream. So, so delicious and seasonal. This also doesn’t use as many nectarines, but instead I upped the berries.

If you don’t like nectarines, go ahead and use peaches. I prefer nectarines myself because they aren’t fuzzy, making it unnecessary to peel the fruit (thus saving time and also adding a bit of fiber to the crisp), plus they tend to be sweeter and juicier. But you do you.

You know the drill…. at least you SHOULD know it after five years of hearing me say it. Get to cooking! 😀

Nectarine And Three Berry Crisp

 

  • Streusel-
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, refrigerator cold and sliced thin
  • Fruit filling-
  • 3 ripe nectarines, cut into bite sized chunks
  • 1 6 ounce carton fresh blackberries
  • 1 6 ounce carton fresh raspberries
  • 1 dry pint fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup – 2/3 cup sugar (if the fruit is nice and sweet, go for the lower amount)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 3 quart baking dish; preferably a glass one, as metal pans can react with the fruits and leave the filling with a grayish tinge, plus metal with fruit can have an off flavor.
  2. Make your filling- In a large bowl, combine all the filling ingredients except the vanilla. Stir thoroughly but gentle so as to not mash the berries. Sprinkle the vanilla over the top and carefully stir it in. Pour the filling into the prepared pan and make the streusel
  3. In a medium bowl, combine all the dry ingredients for the streusel. Use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the dry ingredients. Get it barely cut in, then it’s easier if you use your fingers to finish. Just grab the streusel and kind of rub it between your fingers and thumb to help combine the ingredients. You want to end up with pieces ranging from pea sized to quarter sized.
  4. Note- do NOT use warm butter. The butter has to be cold for streusel to work. Otherwise, it all melts when baked rather than ending up as nice crunchy chunks.
  5. Sprinkle the streusel over the top of the crisp. If you don’t want to use it all (but why not?), just freeze what you don’t use.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees until the top is golden brown and the fruit filling is thickened and bubbly, about 35 to 45 minutes.
  7. Serve warm, preferably with a big old scoop of vanilla ice cream on top!

Nectarine And Three Berry Crisp 1