I mentioned in my initial Pickles 3 Ways post that I had 1/2 a peck of pickling cucumbers to work through, hence I experimented with canning, refrigerating and freezing them. To be honest, the freezing part was because I had literally run out of all my jars, both canning and otherwise, and had to do something with the rest of my pickles before they went bad.
So I quickly put together a batch of freezer pickles, and left them in the fridge for a few days according to the instructions. After the appropriate amount of time had passed, I took them out of the fridge and set them on the counter to begin the process of putting them in storage containers for the freezer.
And then… then my addled brain took me off in a different direction – something else vastly important no doubt – and I completely forgot about the freezer pickles on the counter. Until the next morning.
I could have kicked myself. Actually, I think I did. Several times! I hate throwing away food, especially those delicious looking little pickles. I had really been looking forward to discovering what they would taste like, freshly thawed from the freezer. Would they be mushy? Everybody says they’re yummy and crispy but how is that possible after months in the freezer? Alas, I will have to wonder eternally… or at least until the next time I attempt freezer pickles. Which might be never. We’ll see.
Probably, being mostly pickled by that point, they would have been fine, but I didn’t want to take any chances. I’m not usually very squeamish about things left out for a while… but overnight is a different story.
You, however, my friend, are much more disciplined and organized than I, and I know you will not make the same mistake, which is why I am sharing the recipe with you. I found the original recipe at The Meaning of Pie and tweaked it to suit my tastes, meaning mostly that I left out the majority of the hot stuff. If you like hot stuff in your pickles (eewww!) by all means add it back in, with my blessing.
- 4-6 pickling cucumbers
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
- 4-6 springs fresh dill weed, with head if possible
- 6-8 black peppercorns
- 2 TBSP sea salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cups vinegar
- 3/4 cup water
- Place vegetables, cloves, dill and peppercorn in a medium bowl.
- In a saucepan, stir together remaining ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar and salt have dissolved. Remove from heat.
- Pour brine over the cucumbers and other vegetables and allow to cool slightly. Place in refrigerator, and leave for several days, stirring occasionally.
- After a few days, remove from refrigerator and place in freezer-safe containers. Freeze for a few months; thaw completely before serving.
Of the 3 methods I tried (canned, refrigerator and now freezer), the freezer method was my least favorite because:
- It would take up too much room in my limited freezer space (if I had gotten that far. Ahem.)
- It calls for a lot more sugar than the other recipes.
However, it is a super QUICK method, especially the initial mixing. Of course, like any pickles, they require a few days to pickle, but there’s just no way around that.
It’s probably the EASY-est, although refrigerator pickles are very easy, too. I am likely the only person in the world who can mess up freezer pickles.
It’s just as CHEAP as any other pickle method, too.
The additional sugar concerns me, and makes it not as HEALTHY as the other methods. My sweet tooth ensures that I have more than enough sugar already in my life; I don’t need to add it to foods that aren’t supposed to be sweet!
Have you ever unintentionally left food out overnight?
Read all the posts in this series:
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