Refrigerator Pickles

Chances are you know a master canner who owes their vast and celebrated successes to a procedural mojo that carries with it an annoying smidge of smugness.

These domestic deities take justifiable pride in their product. At any county fair, you’ll find home canned goods with an astonishing range and degree of artisanship.  Competition is psychotic.

Fortunately for us mere mortals, there’s a quick, delicious alternative to the sort of home canning that requires humongous pots and hubris. All you need for refrigerator pickles are a jar or two, running water, and a refrigerator.

Supermarket vegetables are unsuitable. Pack 6 cups sliced cucumbers and 1 cup sliced onion into quart jars. Heat a cup of vinegar with a cup of sugar, and a tablespoon of salt. I like a little black pepper. Pour over cucumber mix. Cool, cover, and refrigerate for a couple of days before serving. These will keep for a week or so.

Quick Summer Pickles

Slice or cube young summer cucumbers, tomatoes, or squash. Pack into a quart jar.

Mix a cup of water, about a third a cup of vinegar, and a tablespoon each salt and sugar. A little garlic is a nice touch. Stir until dissolved, pour over vegetables, and add liquid to cover. Seal and shake a time or two before refrigerating.

Let sit overnight before serving. These keep for about a week, but they’re usually gone by then.