One of our family’s summer staples is refrigerator pickles. Their sweet-and-sour flavor mingles perfectly with sandwiches, hot dogs, hamburgers — and ice cream and cake if you are five-months pregnant. These pickles are even approved of by my finicky toddler, on the condition that I peel the skins off first. (My goofy offspring also uses his teeth to peel the skins off of his blueberries.)
I am growing pickling cucumbers, which are smaller and bumpier than the widely available slicing variety. Fortunately, both slicing and pickling cucumbers work beautifully in this recipe.
The original recipe was given to me by my grandmother, who also made these every summer. These pickles are very nostalgic for me. After a few bites, I dream of playing a few rounds of checkers with my deceased Granddad or eating my Grandma’s creamed chip beef for breakfast.
I tweaked Grandma’s recipe by replacing the sugar with rapadura and reducing the quantity. We don’t miss the extra 1/2 cup of sweetener, but if you wish, you may add it. Rapadura’s taste is very similar to white sugar, but it turns the cucumbers brown instead of pale green. If you don’t like the color, use sugar.
- 2 large slicing cucumbers or 4-5 small pickling cucumbers
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1/2 cup rapadura (or you may use a whole cup)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons dried dill or 2 tablespoons fresh
1. Thinly slice your cucumbers and place them in a large heat-proof glass jar (quart-sized canning jars work well).
2. Add remaining ingredients to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Allow cool for 15 minutes and then pour onto pickles. Refrigerate for four hours and then enjoy.
These pickles will keep for at least a month submerged in the brine. Once the pickles are eaten, you may reuse the brine once, but I recommend remaking it after the second time.