Saturday, August 13, 2011

Refrigerator Pickles


I have eaten these pickles for more years than I can remember! Refrigerator pickles bring back memories of my mother and my parent's garden where they grew cucumbers, beets, peas, beans, tomatoes, potatoes and squash in their enormous back yard garden. It was my own personal farmer's market.



My mother used to love to make these pickles and I loved to eat them. Perhaps your mother made them too as I'm sure this recipe is ages old. 


It's a simple sweet and sour pickle made without cooking that will last 2-3 months in the refrigerator. I keep adding freshly cut cucumbers to the jar as they ripen on the vine. I've already had to go to a larger jar now that the cucumbers are becoming more plentiful but these were my first pride and joys.




I love watching the blossoms turn into teeny-tiny cucumbers and watching them grow every day, sometimes seemingly overnight. I grew these space-saving cucumbers from seed and I'm training them to grow up our fence. The farmers' markets are full of cucumbers right now for you to try this simple recipe - no canning equipment required!

***Update!!   Please see my new post on Refrigerator Dill Pickles here.***

Refrigerator Pickles
~from Savoring Time in the Kitchen's Mom
Printable Recipe

Makes about 6 Cups

1 cup white vinegar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
1-2 teaspoons celery seed (I use 2)
1 teaspoon salt

3 cups sliced cucumber
3 small onions, thinly sliced

Place sliced cucumber and onions in a large container or bowl. In a separate bowl, stir vinegar, sugar, water and salt together until dissolved. Add celery seed. Pour mixture over cucumber and onions and refrigerate.

**Many have asked when these can be eaten.  I sometimes nibble on them the same day but they taste best in 1-2 days in my opinion.  

Keeps for 2-3 months.

158 comments:

  1. I haven't thought of refrigerator pickles in years. I've made them before and love them. Thanks for the recipe. I'm saving it this time. Do you know if I can use English cucumbers or do they have to be pickling cucumbers?
    Babs

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    1. No they do not have to be pickling cucumbers.

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    2. Any kind you like!! Mix and match for variety !!

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    3. Any kind you like!! Mix and match for variety !!

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    5. You can also just reuse the regular liquid from dill pickle jar once it is empty. My teenage daughters do this together every year!

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    6. Do you have a recipe for sweet pickles made from store bought dill pickles?

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    7. Here's a recipe for sweet pickles from store-bought dills:

      1 gallon of Kosher whole dill pickles, drained (discard juice)
      4 cups sugar
      1 whole garlic clump (i.e. lots of cloves, chopped medium-fine)
      2 – 3 oz. Tabasco sauce

      Cut pickles into small chunks (½ “ to ¾” cubes) and put in large bowl. Add sugar, Tabasco and garlic. Mix well. Put pickle mixture back in the gallon jar and refrigerate for 4 days, shaking the jar a couple of times each day to mix and dissolve sugar. Enjoy! (Store in refrigerator.)

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    8. Thank you! This is a great solution for people who don't have a garden or access to a farmers' market. Especially in the winter! I'd probably still add some onions and celery seed :)

      Susan

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  2. Love those things! I have never used celery seed and never added water, but will try your recipe for sure, as I really like the celery taste. Never had any to last a couple of months. :-D I need to make a trip to the store. :D
    Enjoy your evening.

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  3. I came home with a big bag of small pickling cucumbers from the farmer's market. This recipe seems simple and would keep me happy for several months. I'm going to time some so as to have them on turkey sandwiches the day after Thanksgiving. Always thinking ahead!!

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  4. Your pickles (and cukes) look great Susan! Unfortunately, this was not a good year for my cucumber plants. So be sure to enjoy a few for me:@)

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  5. Like Babs, I was wondering if I need a pickling cucumber or could I use any type of cucumber. Also, how long do they need to sit in the liquid before they can be eaten?

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    1. I've only used the 'bumpy' style of cucumber which I either grow in my garden or find at the farmers' market. I start eating them the next day :)

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    2. I have used any cucumber and they all taste the same. I use which ever I have the most of.

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  6. I love looking at things grow too:)

    Jacques' mom made these pickles I am certain..
    I think of her.. when I see these and corn on the cob:)

    Your collage is so cute..
    I just told Jacques tonight..A wish would be to have fresh tomatoes and herbs all yr long in our gardens.
    I know you feel the same way.
    I used to eat all the onions:)

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  7. The pics of your cucumber plants are gorgeous! I love the easy recipe, too. Too bad our cukes are long gone from the Texas heat!! However, there's always the farmer's market.

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  8. these look great I think I will grow cucumbers next yr

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  9. My mom always made pickles, too. These look great and if I ever find some extra time I just may try to make them. I love your smoothie recipe and, for sure, I am going to try that. Deb=^..^=x4

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  10. oh yum! such interesting pickles... we make similar pickles but without the sugar and a larger quantity of salt... I love adding them in sadwiches and pizza

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    1. Ladies, as you can see many of the comments here are from 3 years ago so I'm sure this poster will not be able to respond to you.

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  11. These pickles look delicious! gloria

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  12. I love munching on these on hot days! I also love that you don't have to drag out the canning kettle. :)

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  13. These pickles are so similar to bread and butter pickles; so, so good. My grandmother taught my mom who taught me to make them. Our recipe is similar to yours except that we also use turmeric and garlic cloves (the garlic cloves are discarded before we eat the pickles). Although I generally use pickling cucumbers, I have also used regular cukes when I can't get my hands on the others. Thank you so much for the post and the resurrected memories.

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  14. I have the same sweet canning jars :-) There is nothing like homemade pickles!

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  15. come sempre grandi idee qui da te Susan!!! qui fa un bel caldo..sto facendo il gelato al caffè! te ne offro una coppa!!!!!!un abbraccio!

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  16. I remember refrigerator pickles! Thank you for the recipe and the memories! Love your cucumber collage. Have a great week.

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  17. I remember those from my first years after I moved to the US; then I did not hear from them for years afterwards. Nice to see someone out there (you!) is keeping the tradition alive!

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  18. I love refrigerator pickles! They are quick to make, and taste wonderfully crunchy and delicious.

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  19. Those look delicious! I will definitely stop by in a week or two, my cucumbers are just starting to show signs of growth!

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  20. These pickles look delicious Susan !Easy and quick to make, perfect! Hugs & kisses...

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  21. you made my day !!! this just made me SO HAPPY !!!! i love this !!! i feel like i am in my aunts kitchen on their produce farm up in santa cruz, california making pickles in late summer...

    thanks for the Happy memory..and these are on my "to do" list this week !!!!

    happy to stop by today, my friend
    kary
    xx

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  22. Same recipe as my Moms! Quantities a little different and she added green peppers also, brought back lots of memories. Will have to make up a batch!

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    1. I am making these to take to a family reunion. Did you mother just slice green peppers and add to the recipe? Did she do this sweeter bread/butter style or the other that my family calls "sour" as its vinegar, water, salt, pepper, unions, cukes and celery seed. Very interested about the green peppers.....

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    2. Unfortunately, since this recipe was posted three years ago, it's highly doubtful that you will get a response from the person above. It's a very forgiving recipe and I think you can alter it to your taste.

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  23. I am a pickle-making fool this summer, but have yet to make Refrigerator Pickles. Thanks for the recipe!

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  24. A friend of mine is making pickles too and I have never tried them homemade. So fun!

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  25. My father-in-law used to make refrigerator pickles! It is amazing & satisfying to watch your veggies grow. I have fond memories of helping my grandmother pick & snap beans and shell peas each summer :-)

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  26. I use to love sweet and sour pickles. I have not had them in a long time. I do not think I have ever had homemade pickles. Thanks for the sharing the receipe.

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  27. These look delicious! I will have to look for space saving cucumbers to grow next year. I could train them up the base pillars of the gazebo!

    Thanks for sharing the recipe & info.
    fondly,
    Rett

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  28. This sounds easy enough that I should try it. Nancy

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  29. I made these this year for the first time. We love them and so easy to make. I love your pictures and your mosaic!

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  30. This is another 'keeper' from your blog, I can tell right now. We always have some pickles with our sandwiches, and this sounds so very easy.

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  31. These are gorgeous pickles and my mouth is watering now! How lucky you've got them growing in your garden.

    Thank you for stopping by and leaving your sweet comments. I always appreciate it. Hope you'll visit again soon.

    Take care,
    Amy

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  32. I keep saying I am going to try these. They are way too simple and I have everything too. I even have the cukes growing in the garden. Maybe this week. Summer is just too busy.

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  33. Sounds delicious and easy. And your presentation is spectacular. I have a BIL who would love these. I'll pass the link along to him.
    Sam

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  34. These look and sound terrific. A perfect touch of summer. Thanks so much for bringing them to Seasonal Sundays.

    - The Tablescaper

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  35. I always thought you had to cook them!!! WHat a great idea. I love pickles and make a little batch every year... I'll try some of these next!

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    http://antalya-magnificent-city.blogspot.com

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  37. Love that mosaic of the cukes! Our cucumber plants have been invaded by the deer, leaving us too few to pickle.

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  38. Oh man.. I love pickles so much and yours look great Susan. You have a great way of making them.

    Hope you have a great week ahead.

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  39. Thank you, all, for your wonderful comments, my friends!

    I've already emailed Babs and LDH but to answer their question, I'm sure any kind of cucumber would work if you don't have them growing in your garden or have a farmers' market nearby. Also, they should be ready to eat in 1-2 days. I say try a taste taste and see ;)

    Terri, I like your idea of using garlic cloves - I'm going to make a another batch and try it.

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    1. can you do this with a whole small cucumber or do you have to cut them up??

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    2. I've read that some people do use whole, small cucumbers. I like them sliced as they are easier to eat with a fork that way. I like a little onion and a little pickle together in my bite :)

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  40. I made them today! They are very addicting already! Thanks,
    Jacqueline

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  41. Just stopping by from OTMM to say that your Refrigerator Pickles look very good. We keep Refrigerator Pickles going the year round. Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful week!
    Miz Helen

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  42. I used to make so many different kinds of pickles, but this one is new for me; looks and sounds very tempting.
    Rita

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  43. Mmm I love pickles and have been meaning to make my own! This sounds like the perfect recipe!

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  44. This is really looking awesome!! Loved these pickles and these are not very difficult too!! Would surely give them a try!

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  45. i'm back....happy to see you at farmhouse kitchen...i feel the same way about blogging...when my poodle Buddy died i received a HUGE box of pet loss books from joyce of octoberfarm...we have been friends ever since. we email each other all day long about what we are doing... since we are making pickles we were talking about those WECK canning jars. have you seen them. you can ggogle WECK CANNING...they are DARLING !!! just wanted to pass it along.... seems we like alot of the same things, my friend

    kary
    xx

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  46. Love these and I'm so glad to see the recipe for them! Thanks!

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  47. Delicious cucumbers are very rich, my mother recently also prepared with cucumbers from the plant are very beautiful, warm hugs.

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  48. Hi Susan, gee, I could have sworn that I commented on your refrigerator pickles! They look delicious and I love the jar you've used!

    Thank you for stopping by and commenting on my pickles. They are so good and I didn't buy any pickles last year! Now I have to make more because family and friends like 'em to! LOL!!!

    I noticed someone suggested adding garlic. I add garlic to mine too. You could add red pepper flakes and dill, I've done that to refrigerator pickles also. I also add those ingredients to my canned pickles!

    I see my friend Kary from My Farmhouse Kitchen is talking about Weck canning jars! Susan, at From Beyond My Kitchen Window and I are long time friends and we've been fawning over those jars! They are beautiful. I want to get some, but haven't yet.

    Have a great week and happy cooking!

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  49. Mmm...made these last summer and truly enjoyed them. I'd never had refrigerator pickles before that. This makes me want a fresh batch.

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  50. We love pickles and I need to get with it and make some refrigerator pickles. What could be easier, and they remind me of my grandmother.

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  51. I love pickles and refrigerator pickles are my favorite kind as tey stay nice and crispy!

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  52. Very nice post Susan. Love your jar! I think I am going to have to try your recipe:)

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  53. this looks so good.. i know my mom would just love this. thank you for sharing this.

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  54. Susan, I love the pictures of the cucumbers...and the pickles look so tasty...would love to try them...simple and so tasty.
    Hope you are having a great week :-)

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  55. I have never made them. My cucumber crop is pathetic this year! I only like sweet pickles, but I guess you can adjust the recipe.
    Looks good, Susan!~

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  56. I recently bought some pickled cucumber at Farmer's market last weekend, I was looking for a good pickling recipe. Yours look so inviting, definitely worth trying out.

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  58. Just found your recipe via Pinterest, substituted the sugar with Truvia Baking Blend (1/2 as much) and was wonderful--- 4 happy jars sitting in the fridge-- time seems to be ticking until I can eat them!!!(but the few we snuck were good, will get even better with time!

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  59. My mother-in-law used to make these all the time and I watched her and wrote down what she did. I can't remember celery seed being added, would that make a difference to leave it out? Anyway, she died and the recipe died with her. Her own kids didn't know it. I did an online search and you came up on the first page and voila! that's the recipe! Thank you so much!

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    1. Hi Dorothy! I happen to love the flavor of the celery seed but that's a matter of personal choice, I'm sure. Maybe you could try some with and some without and see which you like best :)

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  60. I use essentially the same recipe, but add a bit of worchestershire (1/4 cup IIRC) and a lot of fresh ground black pepper. I use thin-sliced cucumbers, onions, zucchini and celery.

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    1. Sounds delicious! I'll have to try your version with some of my cuke and zucchini crop this summer. Thanks!

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  61. I have done this with the English cucumbers and they are very crispy.Awesome pickles.

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  62. I keep my refrigerator pickles going in a 5 qt. ice cream pail almost year round! LOVE them

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  63. My grandma & Mom made this. They just called it cucumber salad. Use to be so delicious! Going to make some this weekend!

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    1. I still have to wait for my cuke plants to flower :( Soon!

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  64. Can I use an alternative sweetener such as honey, agave, turbinado, coconut sugar?

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    1. Although I haven't tried alternative sweeteners I see no reason why they wouldn't work - as long as they are dissolved in the vinegar first. The nice thing about this recipe is that it isn't canned and sealed so you can adjust the sweetness even the next day.

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  65. Can you add Bell Peppers and Tomatoes?

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    1. I'm sure bell peppers would be great, another commenter above said they add celery and zucchini. I'm not so sure about the tomatoes with all of their water content. They might really alter the texture. Let me know if you try it!

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  67. Can you make these without the sugar. I'm not a fan of sweet pickles?

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    1. I've never tried them without the sugar but you could try using half the amount or even just a 1/4 cup and see if that suits your taste.

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  68. How long aare they in the refrigerator untill they are pickled

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    1. I've eaten them the next day since they aren't 'canned' or 'preserved' in the traditional way. The flavors so get more intense the longer they are refrigerated but should be used in a couple of months. I also keep adding sliced cucumbers as they ripen in my garden. Thanks!

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    2. You actually don't need to wait at all! I've been eating them more than 50 years and never knew that people kept them more than a day until after I was away from home and married 30 years ago. We kept the liquid and just added more cukes and onions to them every day--and they were all eaten every day. Constant cycle...a very good thing. :-)

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  69. I'm a kosher pickle fan. What would I do to make this happen?

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    1. This may not be your recipe, unfortunately. I've never made them any other way than stated in the recipe.

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    2. Update: I found this recipe on the Spenda website: http://recipes.splenda.com/recipes/1397338-Sweet-and-Crunchy-Deli-Style-Pickles.

      You could use their ingredients and substitute regular sugar. This may give you the taste you're looking for!

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  70. im wondering how a bit of dill would be in there too >

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    1. I've never tried adding dill as I love them just the way my mother made them in this recipe but I don't see why that wouldn't work. Maybe that would be more to the above person's liking too.

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    2. Leave out the sugar for dill pickles. Maybe more salt

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  71. For those of you interested in substituting Splenda or another sweetener other than sugar, I found this method for making pickles on the Splenda website: http://recipes.splenda.com/recipes/1397253-Bread-and-Butter-Pickles. You can use either their suggested ingredients or those in my recipe.

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  72. Hi Susan, glad I checked your site for pickle recipe, I have so many cucumbers I have decided to use your recipe and make some pickles! This will be my project tomorrow afternoon! Thank you for sharing! :)

    Michael
    Hot Fudge Cake recipe: http://michaelswoodcraft.wordpress.com/2014/03/17/hot-fudge-sauce-chocolate-cake-and-ice-cream/

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  73. I started making refrigerator pickles, after seeing a recipe similar to this, somewhere on Facebook. I have pickled for many years, but for the last 4 or 5 years, most of them have not been crisp, but a soft.

    I don't like sweet pickles personally, so I just use my grandmother's old recipe. I have also found that if you use whole pickles rather than sliced, using long English cucumbers or the tiny Japanese cucumber (they're like a baby English), they are ready faster than regular pickling cucumbers.

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  74. To make kosher my grandmother used coriander, mustard, and dill seeds

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  75. is there anything you can substitute for the celery seed? I'm allergic to celery but this recipe sounds good.

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    1. If celery salt or powder still won't work maybe you could try dill seeds instead.

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  76. Haven't had these in years and years love them

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  77. Have you tried this also with yellow and green squash?

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    1. I haven't personally tried it but another comment mentioned they use zucchini and sliced celery along with the cucumbers. Sounds good!

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  78. You mentioned that you keep adding to your jar. Do you need to keep adding more of the other ingredients? Also how long can you keep reusing the liquid?

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    1. As long as the liquid still covers the cucumbers it's fine. If not, I would just boil another batch of vinegar and sugar and add it to the jar. After 2-3 months, I'd start from scratch - if they last that long :)

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  79. My grandmother used to make pickles this way. I ate them with some creme mixed with the vinegar and this even added more flavor. The only change is that I certainly wouldn't keep reusing this liquid with the creme added.

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  80. Hubby and I made our 1st batch today, we do have a question that I didn't find on this post, how long do you need to wait until they are ready to eat?

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    1. Sometimes, I start nibbling at them right away but I think the flavor is best after 1 or 2 days. I hope you enjoy them!

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  81. How long do you refridgerate them before eating them?

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  82. This also works good with small yellow squash. They are squash pickles and they taste like the real thing only thry are yellow.

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  83. This also works good with small yellow squash. They are squash pickles and they taste like the real thing only thry are yellow.

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  84. You don't mention in the recipe when to fill the jars with the mixture in the bowl. Do you refrigerate in the bowl before filling the jars? How many jars does this make, and what size jar is best? Thanks.

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    1. You don't need to use jars at all. Sometimes, I just keep them in a large, covered plastic container in the frig and that way I can add more cukes to the container as they ripen. My cucumbers won't be ready to pick here for quite some time yet but I'm guessing it will make about 8 cups.

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  85. This is also"cucumber salad" or at least that is what I grew up with!

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  86. Why the sugar? With so many people not using sugar I would like to know of you can just eliminate the sugar. Let me know as if it can be done I may make some.

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    1. Sindi, try doing a web search for "sugar free refrigerator pickles". I'm sure you'll find something to you liking. I, personally, only use my mother's recipe as written above.

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  87. i CAN'T I MAKE THIS JUST PLAIN SALTY/DILL....I DON'T LIKE SWEET PICKLES!!!

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    1. These are a sweet/sour type of refrigerator pickle. Perhaps you can find another recipe on the web somewhere to your liking.

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  88. How can I make these using STEVIA ? I just don't use plain Sugar...THANK YOU !

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    1. Do a web search of "refrigerator pickles without sugar" and you should come up with a few ideas, Duane.

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  89. How long do they need to sit before you eat them (for the best flavor)? Can I use garlic with the celery seed or will the sugar not work right with the garlic? I like the garlicy taste too.

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    1. I like them even the same day although overnight will give you the best flavor. I've heard some people use garlic also, Betty. I may try some the next time I make them.

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    2. i am wondering why we can use dill pickles w/o slicing them? i love dill pickles but like to eat them when there about 3 inches long ...1/2" inch think...to me thats a dill pickle...thos in the jar look like cucumbers sliced up....eeewwww gross to me.

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  90. I'm making these tomorrow how long do theyhave to sit before eating them

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  91. How long in fridge before eating them

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    1. 2-3 days she says above in the recipie

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  92. See the answer to Betty Lee just two comments above.

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  93. I let them sit in fridge a week n two days. They are good but taste like bread and butter pickles is there a way aking them DILL

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    1. Yes, I've seen recipes on the internet for refrigerator dill pickles if you prefer those. Just do a web search and I'm sure you'll find several recipes.

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  96. Just made this and already tasted - SO good! Thanks for sharing!! I'm new to cooking and didn't think I could make pickles without canning. Silly question - I transferred from a bowl to a large mason jar with lid (only had to lose a little juice that wouldn't quite fit). Is it normal for the cukes and onions to float to the top? The bottom half of the jar is just liquid. And is it okay to be sealed? I guess that was two questions. :-) Thanks again!!

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    1. Glad you like them, Anne! Sliced cucumbers will float. Many people like to put cucumber slices in a pitcher of water for cucumber-flavored water (which tastes great) and the slices of cucumber always float. I think the longer they are in the vinegar water, they may absorb some of the liquid and start to sink but don't worry if they don't. If you have lots of liquid you could always add more cucumbers too. You may like to take the jar and swirl the cucumbers around occasionally. Yes, it's perfectly fine to put the lid on the jar. Enjoy your pickles!

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    2. The pickles started to settle on their own and giving them a swirl helped. I'll definitely add more cucumbers because these won't last long. :-)

      Love your site - following on Pinterest and shared on Facebook. Thanks again!

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    3. Also, thanks so much for the reply and the information. I really appreciate it!

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  97. Oh my gosh I'm so doing this! I'm pregnant and have been eating pickles like crazy!

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  98. They don't sell celery seed where I live but I brought some dill back with me last time I was in The States, can I use that instead or is the celery seed essential?

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    1. I think it's just a matter of personal taste, Rachel. You won't get the same flavor but I think dill would taste just fine. You could also substitute celery salt if that's available.

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  99. I love these and make them often. I sometimes add green pepper also. Mmmm! So good!

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    1. Thanks for the comment, Joyce! I need to try some green pepper in my next batch which may likely be the last of the season :(

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