Cucumbers just suddenly started appearing in our garden. I figured that we weren't going to have cucumbers this year because the plants looked pretty sad and pathetic. Last year there were so many cucumbers that we couldn't eat them fast enough. I ended up canning over 100 jars of pickles, so I'm okay with a smaller load of cucumbers this year. Since they have been coming in slowly I thought I'd try out some refrigerator pickles.
I kind of liked the idea of slicing the cukes lengthwise. They look like they'd be a better fit on a sandwich. The thing I love about making my own pickles is that you can put whatever you want in them. I love a little kick in my food, so I added a little spice, but I also wanted a garlicky flavor too, so then I threw in some garlic. You can make your pickles sweet bread and butter pickles or for a more sour flavor there are dills. Dills were on the books in this household for this round. Now I'm still in the learning process of pickling and I was surprised to find so many different recipes for dill pickles that used dill heads, dill seeds, and/or dill weed. What's the difference? From what I can gather, the biggest difference between them all is the strength of the flavor. All I had was dill weed, so that's what I used, but I have dill seeds on the way! I can't wait to try those out.
While I filled my jars with cucumbers first, I do believe that it is best to put your garlic, onion, and spices in the jars first. Then fill your jars with cucumbers. That way you aren't left with all of your goodies at the top of your jar. Then after you have boiled your brine pour it into your jars, over your soon to be pickles.
Place a lid on top and let your pickles cool on your countertop then keep them in your fridge until you're ready to eat them. For these pickles you can use old lids since they are not being processed (Lauren). If, however, you decide to process them in a canner you most definitely should use new lids.
Spicy Garlic Dill Refrigerator Pickles
Makes 3 pints and 1 quart
2 1/2 pounds cucumbers
2 cups apple cider vinegar
2 cups water
3 teaspoons sea salt
8 garlic cloves, peeled (two per jar)
2 onions thinly sliced
8 teaspoons dill weed (2 tsp per jar)
2 teaspoons chili flakes (1/2 tsp per jar)
Wash and dry cucumbers. Chop ends off and slice. Set aside.
Combine vinegar, water and salt in sauce pan and bring to a boil.
Equally divide the dill weed, garlic cloves, and onion between the 4 jars. Pack the cucumber slices into the jars.
Pour the brine into the jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Put lids on the jars and let them cool on the counter top. Once they’re cool, put them in the refrigerator. Let them sit in the fridge for at least a day so the flavors have can cure together.