Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Freezer Pickles

I thought I would share my bread and butter freezer pickles, a very easy recipe.  Although freezer pickles and jams are not as aesthetic as lovely jars of canned fruits and pickles, they are so quick and easy that they leave you with no excuse to not lay in your own store, freezer or refrigerator space permitting.  These cukes were, unfortunately, not from my own garden (my cucumber plants having suffered a malingering and wasting away kind of existence over the summer despite my best efforts, and they did not produce well -- heck, the plants didn't even grow very well), but they are from my quarter share CSA that I get each Saturday from Mammaw's Heirloom Vegetables at our very small farmer's market that's held in the parking lot of our local family owned hardware store.

This recipe is from Andrea Chesman's Summer in a Jar: Making Pickles, Jams and More, which gives small batch canning recipes, and includes a chapter on freezer pickles and jams.

Combine 4 cups thinly sliced cukes and one thinly sliced onion with 1 1/2 teaspoons of pickling salt and let stand for about 2 hours, then drain them but do not rinse.

Combine 1 1/4 cups white vinegar, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon celery seed, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and pour it over the cucumbers.

Pack them into freezer containers, leaving about one inch head space and freeze.  They defrost in the fridge in about 8 hours, so I get a container out of the freezer before bed, and then just keep what we don't use the next day in the refrigerator, where they will also keep for several weeks.  Since these pickles are not cooked or processed their color stays bright and they stay pretty crisp.

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