My first two cucumbers were ready way before the others so I decided to make refrigerator pickles with them to have for this weekend when we have company in town. Since I won't be able to taste them for about 5 days, don't consider this a "tried and liked" recipe until I follow up with the taste test.
I took 2 pickling cucumbers about 4"-5" long and sliced off the ends. I read that the blossom end of the cucumber should be cut off since it can make the pickles bitter. Who knew. I then sliced each into 6 spears, put them in a pot, sprinkles them with about 1 Tbsp of salt and topped with a few hand fulls of ice. This is called sweating and helps draw the water out of the cucumbers so they will stay crisp. I let them sit for about an hour, then drained and rinsed them, and dried them on a towel.
Two cucumbers were perfect for filling a pint jar. I took one thick slice of onion cut into large pieces and put that in the bottom of the jar with one clove of garlic cut into 3 pieces and a 1/2 tsp of celery seed.
I then stuffed the sliced cucumbers into the jar.
On the stove I brought 1/2 cup of cider vinegar and 1 cup of sugar to a boil. I did toss in another tsp of salt. This will do one of three things: 1) make them too salty since I used salt to sweat, 2) not be enough salt since I rinsed the cucumbers after sweating, or 3) it might be just perfect. Of course I hope for the later.
Once the sugar had melted I poured it over the cucumbers to about 1/4" from the top.
I wiggled the pickle-wanna-bes to get the air out and put the lid on. Now they are in the refrigerator and should be fantastic in about 5 days and good to eat for 2 to 3 months. They won't last that long, though.
And on the sewing machine front, my friend Amanda is lending me hers! I should have my lanyards done tomorrow night. Ahhh. I love it when it all comes together.