Saturday, June 13, 2009

Granny's a Genius

Not that we didn't already know this, but I figured to make it official.

Granny from Annie's Kitchen Garden is a veritable genius. Granny's been so helpful over the past year offering advice and encouragement. She's sent me files on canning and preserving and recipes for the same. However, she found the right chord in a comment on yesterday's post. She mentioned Googleing "refrigerator pickles." Amazing! I always thought my cucumbers were toast since I don't have a canner, and I never knew you could do it without the heat. Yeah, so they can't sit on the shelf for a year, but seriously, do they ever last that long anyway?

Granny, after picking yet another pound of cucumbers today to add to the pound already in the fridge, you hit the nail right on the head. We had everything we needed to make the refrigerator pickles in the house. All I needed was some jars. I could do it in Tupperware, but the jars would at least look nicer.

My first batch made two one quart jars of what I suppose are bread and butter type pickles.

First I sliced two medium size cucumbers:

Then, I layered them by alternating placing cucumbers, sweet onions and jalapeno peppers in the jar. I don't care for the jalapeno, but I wondered if it would add a bit more to the flavor.

Continue alternating until full.

In a saucepan I heated

1 cup sugar
1.5 cups vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp mustard seed
1/2 tsp celery seed

Heat and boil for one minute.

I put some peppercorns and garlic in the jars for good measure and poured the mixture over the top of the jars.

I had enough mixture to fill two 1 quart jars. As always, the magical fairy bubble wand is optional.

We'll know in a few days if it tastes okay, but a word about the mixture. It stains everything. Your cutting board, your counter top, your sink, everything. I'm assuming it's the turmeric (something I've realized I'm not so fond of and would leave out about half of it in the recipe if I was doing it again). Hopefully bleach can get some of it out.

THEN, and more on my line of pickle eating, I found this recipe which is sooo good from a comment left on the blog In My Kitchen Garden: The Sporadic Garden Journal of a Lousy Record Keeper .

1 cup mayo

1/4 cup milk

1 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp white vinegar

1 large cucumber sliced

Salt and pepper to taste. Just mix and stash in the fridge.

I upped the vinegar from what is listed here. We like vinegar. The mayonnaise may turn you off, but when you add the vinegar it's more like a sour cream mix than anything. I think they'll either be great on their own or snap up a sandwich!

Thanks, Granny! I'm going to find a dill recipe to do for the next batch.

The morning comes early. Sweet pickling dreams.


  1. Granny is like a walking, talking encyclopedia of everything!
    I've heard of the refrigerator pickles, but never made any myself. Please let us know how they are when ready! Since my cucumbers have began to come in...I guess i'll be making pickles next! Woo Hoo!

  2. Just Google "refrigerator dill pickles", my sweet Ribbit! And thanks for the mayo recipe. Mr. H would love that one. Me...I think cucumbers are just nasty, unless they're made into bread & butter, sweets or sweet relish. They taste like watermelon rind to me. Which, by the way, you can also pickle. And while you're making those dills, try making some dilled green beans!

  3. I might have to try this out. My dad used to make this back when I was a little kid. I'm not much for pickles but my wife loves them!

    I do have one question about the garlic. Did you use fresh garlic or powdered? I've always heard that fresh garlic is massively saturated in botulism which is why you can't make things like raw garlic olive oil. Botulism 'hatches' in anaerobic conditions like oil, or a sealed jar.. Just curious if you had any info on this for your pickles? I don't know if fridge pickled jars count as air tight, so maybe it isn't anaerobic?

  4. EG, I don't know if I'm going to be a fan of the bread and butter ones because of th tumeric, but MAN, are those white ones good.

  5. Granny, I may have to draw the line at dilled beans. That just sounds odd. Fried green beans, however....YUMMY!

  6. Hi Aaron! Thanks for commenting. Actually, to fully illustrate my ignorance, I'd never heard any of that before. Scary, isn't it.

    I hate peeling garlic, and I don't know if it makes a difference, but I used the already chopped garlic you can buy in tiny jars in the produce section.

  7. Alright, I just tried the pickles. The first ones have too much turmeric. Not my favorite. I'll decrease the ammount and of course, up the vinegar next time. The mayo ones on the other hand....WOW! I love them.

  8. I googled refrigerator pickles and got your blog! I am going to try your creamy mayo recipe. But more importnantly, for your stains- the yellow color of the turmeric was set when it was mixed with acid (this is chemically referred to as a "reduced" state). Many natural food dyes (beet juice, wine, blueberries) can be set when acidified. To remove it, your best best is usually direct sunshine. The UV rays break it down. Since that is hard for a countertop, you need to remove it by "oxidizing". If bleach doesn't work, go one step further and try hydrogen peroxide, or the washing product "OxyClean". Alternate these with rinses of rubbing alcohol or ethanol (aka vodka) to pick up the natural oils from the turmeric and voila! Your stain should be no more. I have used this method on silestone countertops and laminate/formica countertops, but as always, test a small patch first.
    Good Luck, and happy pickels!

  9. Hi Dawn! OH NO! Say it isn't so. The one thing my kitchen doesn't get is sun. I'll try the other ideas and post if they work.

    I'm serious, Dawn. Those mayo ones are fantastic. I put the min a pita bread with left over pot roas and they were great. I'd prob. cut down on the milk to make it thicker next time around.

  10. We were just talking yesterday about how turmeric stains everything! My husband uses it when he makes fried tofu. We used to have a set of blue plastic cooking utensils. After a while, all of the top halves were green because of turmeric stains. As we all know from 1st grade art class, yellow and blue make green!

    I'm hoping to get some cukes this year so I can try both traditional and refrigerator pickle recipes. Is it a bad omen that the "word verification" word is "rancid"?

  11. No way!! That's a story, gumshoe. Please tell me the word wasn't rancid. That's too funny. Terrible, but funny.

  12. For your counter top and sink stains, I recommend Comet Cleanser (I like the powder). It's the only thing I've found to clean Formica counters (but yours look like nice counters, so check to see if it's ok to use). It's also the only thing that cleans our white sink. Why anyone would opt to put a white sink in is beyond me...

  13. Tell me about it Momma-S!!!! Not only that, but the sink and the entire counter are one piece. My first concern was that if the sink chipped we'd have to replace the whole stinkin' thing. I'm thinking the Comet might be too fine grained and scratch, however.