My life is run by to-do lists. When I'm at work, I have a series of post-it notes that change daily, and when I'm at home I have cleaning and chore lists that keep me focused. I would be a completely worthless and inefficient human being if I were not able to make lists. Right now, I am in the process of completing my canning and preserving list because otherwise I know we will be left wanting at the end of the season. My motto, which I got off of a fortune cookie at a Chinese restaurant (is it just me or do the fortunes always fit perfectly?), is if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. I think that is true in a lot of situations, canning especially. Therefore, I am not quite ready to begin making and canning pickles for long term storage, but that hasn't stopped my garden from producing a handful of cucumbers every few days.
What to do with cucumbers when you don't want to spend a lot of time standing over a boiling kettle? Quick Fridge Pickles are the answer. These pickles are easy to throw together at a moments notice, use things you generally have on hand, and last up to a month in the fridge. They are crisp, tangy, slightly sweet, and a little spicy, and they go well with any number of things. Tasty as a snack, layered on sandwiches and burgers, or served alongside a grilled cheese, these pickles should definitely be on your to-do list.
Quick Fridge Pickles- makes 1 quart
This recipe is only slightly adapted from Fresh Every Day by Sara Foster. I double the quantity of brine because the original recipe does not make quite enough to cover the pickles. I usually do have a little brine leftover which can be used to make another small jar of pickles or saved in the refrigerator for a few weeks for later batches.
2 cups white vinegar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly cracked black peppercorns
6 whole cloves
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp dill seed
5-6 small pickling cucumbers, peeled in stripes and sliced 1/8 inch thick
In a medium bowl or large measuring cup, combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, peppercorns, cloves, red pepper flakes, and dill seed, and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Layer the cucumber slices in a quart jar along with the bay leaves. Pour the brine into the jar until it just covers the cucumber slices. Refrigerate at least four hours before serving, shaking the jar occasionally to keep everything mixed well. Store in the refrigerator 1 month.