On Monday I was asked about my pickled peas. So today I'll give the recipe. The recipe works for most veggies including cucumbers. It is not a canning recipe, but a refrigerator pickle recipe. Nothing is cooked. You can heat the vinegar and water to help dissolve the sugar, but it isn't necessary. If you do, make sure it is cool before pouring over your peas. The nice thing about refrigerator pickles is that the vegetables stay very crisp since they are never cooked. They keep fairly well. I typically keep them for about three months, so it is an easy way to preserve if you have the refrigerator space.
There are two parts to the recipe. The pickle juice is the first which is a vinegar solution. You can make as much or as little as you like. If you make extra you can keep it in a glass jar in the fridge until you have something to pickle. Personally I made four times the recipe since I was making three quarts of pickled peas. I might have gotten away with just making three but I'm not sure it would have been quite enough.
- 1 T salt
- 3 T sugar
- 1 c vinegar
- 3/4 c water
You can use any vinegar you like. I often use white vinegar because I like the bite. Many people don't. If not use cider vinegar.
The second part of the recipe is the vegetables and spices. Right now the vegetables are snap peas. Later they will be cucumbers or maybe beans. If you notice I have the spices in the jar above. Onions I consider part of the spice, but they could just as easily be the vegetable. For spices you can be simple and just use dill or maybe some pickling spices. I tend to be more complicated. I use onion, garlic, fresh ginger, dill weed, dill seed, mustard seed, peppercorns, coriander, bay leaf, whole allspice, whole cloves (one or two in a jar only as they are very powerful), and cinnamon bark. I used to use chili peppers too. I'd put one or two in the jar. Since I can't eat them anymore, I just leave them out. But the bit of the chili goes very well with pickles.
Pour the liquid over the veggies and let them sit in the fridge for a bit. I try to let them sit for at least three days before eating. But sometimes they just don't make it that long. But with three quarts at least some of them get eaten after they have had a chance to develop a good flavor.
One of the things I like best about refrigerator pickles is that you can make them even if you have harvests just trickling in. You don't need pounds all at once to preserve. You can make up a jar half filled with pickle juice and the spices and as you harvest you can toss in your veggies a few at a time. It is especially good if you like cucumber pickles, but are only harvesting a cucumber a day. You can't really save them up as they would go bad, but you can just toss them in the jar as they come in. Eventually the jar will be filled up and you can start a new one and start eating the filled one. Also it is nice in the summer when it is hot and you just don't want to bring out the canner and heat the house up with steam. They may not keep for years this way, but they do keep for months and the pickles have a much better texture.
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