Ahhh, pickles. You come into my life every summer at the demand of the pickle-obsessed people in my family, you sit pretty on shelves or in the refrigerator for a while and then you’re gobbled up and before I know it, I’m making more of you. Good thing I’m not a pickle fan myself. In the words of the
infamous notorious Biggie Smalls: “Never get high off your own supply.” Yes, he was talking about crack, but the principle is the same.
If I actually ate pickles, then I’d never have any to give away (or sell… *ahem*), and then people would annoy me more than they already do to make more. I’m not sure how many folks out there could somehow relate the “Ten Crack Commandments” to pickles, but what can I say?
Did you know that “pickle” is derived from the Dutch word pekel, meaning brine? Betcha didn’t. But now you do!
Any who, I found this beautiful pickle recipe at Honey & Jam. The photos were so lovely, I knew I’d have to replicate it myself. My mother is a fan of sweet pickles; give her a jar of sweet gherkins & she’ll eat the whole thing. So I thought she’d appreciate these, lovely little quick pickles made with sugar, a stick of cinnamon & some cloves. The fact that they’re quick pickles, or refrigerator pickles, makes life easier. I love canning but on a super hot day it’s nice to just slap things in the fridge & not worry about processing.
QUICK SWEET PICKLES (from Honey & Jam)
Makes two pints or one quart
- 6 kirby cucumbers or 2 regular cucumbers
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon mustard seed
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 small red onion, sliced thinly
- Wash and dry the cucumbers. Using a sharp knife or a mandolin, slice the cucumbers thinly and place in a colander. Sprinkle with the salt and toss to coat. Place the colander over a bowl and allow it to sit, covered, for about 1 hour. Rinse off the salt and dry the cucumber slices well.
- Place the cucumbers into a sterilized quart jar, along with the onion.
- In a small saucepan add the remaining ingredients. Stir to dissolve sugar and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow it to cool.
- Pour the brine over the cucumbers in jar. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. Will keep, refrigerated, for about 2 weeks.
I used about 1/2 cup more of each the liquids and split this into two batches; breaking the cinnamon stick in half to put one half in each jar. I used 2 bay leaves as well, and put the pickles in 1 1/2 pint jars. As far as preserving these pickles for shelf-stability, I’d say it’s easy to do. Just do your research first as far as water to vinegar ratios, do not let the brine cool before pouring it in the jars & be sure the vinegar is 5% acidity- that is key to safely preserving with vinegar.
Those jars, by the way, are awesome jars to have around… because of their size, they make great storage jars. Either for beans/rice/grains or stuff like flavored vinegar. But more importantly, they make awesome drinking glasses! Especially for iced coffee/tea, smoothies or milkshakes. Or giant cocktails.
It’s hard to get a good picture of an open jar of pickles when there are people around trying to eat them. Just saying.
I cut my pickle slices thicker than usual for two reasons. One, the cucumbers were pretty massive, so to cut them thin would’ve been silly and two, I felt like these would be good snack pickles (as opposed to thinner sandwich slices). To cut my pickles like this, I use one of these nifty crinkly cutters, which for me is a great investment. I think when you’re making pickled vegetables it’s fun to cut them in a unique way. But by the way… keep in mind: the crinkle cutter is also awesome for making crinkle cut french fries or potatoes, or for cutting fancier fresh cucumbers or carrots for use in salads, etc. It’s definitely a worthy (cheap) investment that can up the ante on a ton of homemade foods.
I mean, who wants boring ass pickles?
Boring ass pickles these are not. The sugar, cinnamon & cloves give it a bump of subtle spice & sweetness, yet the vinegar, onion & mustard seeds do give it a tang. If you’re a big sweet gherkin lover, then these are a must have. If you prefer a Kosher dill or half-sour then stay far, far away.