I do prefer hot water canning over fridge pickles. But sometimes I’m not in the mood to drag everything out of the cupboard to process a full batch of pickles. Fridge pickles also have an advantage over water bath-they stay crunchy.
March’s Can It Up was onions and I never got the chance to make them. I got a good sized bag of onions at Niagara Produce yesterday, and decided to make what I was planning on for March-curried pickled onions.
Fridge pickles are a great way to venture into pickling-they’re simpler, and since you’re not canning them they’re not quite as rigid instruction wise as hot water bath processed food. Let them for a few days in the fridge to pick up flavor.
3 cups vinegar (5% acidity)
1 1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 tea pickling salt
(Brine from the Winter Salad Pickle from The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving)
For the onions- 2 tea hot curry powder
For the peppers-1 tea dill seed
Roughly chop and place vegetables into jars-two onions filled a quart jar and about 6 hot peppers filled a pint. Poke them down with a chopstick to make sure you get as much into each jar as you can. Place curry powder in onion jars and dill in pepper jars.
Add brine to a sauce pan and bring to a boil. After boiling for 3-5 minutes*, fill each jar to about 1/2 to 1/4 inch of rim, and seal. Place in fridge when the jars are lukewarm to cool to the touch.
You can use the brine for a range of vegetables, and adjust the herbs you use with them. Fridge pickles are good for using up limp or elderly vegetables-they’re best with crunchy vegetables, obviously, but they’re great for saving stuff that’s past their prime.
*Boiling length on the brine isn’t as pivotal for fridge pickles as for hot water bath, but make sure it boils at least a little to kill off whatever may be in the pot.