The Frugal Musician is in a pickle

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As the cucumber vines played out (as they say here in Virginia when something has reached the end of its usefulness), I admonished myself yet again for not learning the fine art of pickle making. After all, last year I had tracked down canning jars and pickling spice, intending to preserve my cucumber abundance.  But I never got around to having a free day before the cucumber vine shriveling up and died away. So my jars sat gathering dust, silently waiting for spring.

Last weekend, with a pile of cucumbers on my table, I discovered quite by accident a recipe for Icebox Pickles. No canning equipment, no sterilizing and steaming the jars on a day that had already reached 97, no special rings, seals, magic or canning incantations were necessary.

I now have 10 jars of adorable pickles in my fridge. And I love them.

Icebox Pickle Recipe

7 cups cucumbers, thinly sliced

2 cups sugar

1 cup white vinegar

1 tsp salt and 1 tsp celery seed

Bring sugar, vinegar, salt and celery seed to a boil. I did this in a glass bowl in my microwave (reference the above mentioned 97 degree day). If you’re boiling this on the stove, you must use a teflon or glass type pot. Anything else will pit due to the vinegar. The glass bowl in the microwave worked perfectly.

Let the mixture cool and prepare your jars. I used Kerr mason jars as well as a few glass mayo jars. I washed and rinsed my jars well before packing the pickles. After the mixture cools, pack cucumber slices in the jars and press in tight. Pour mixture over the pickles and seal with lids. Store jar in fridge.

This recipes says they keep indefinitely. I can’t imagine keeping mine over a couple of months. I love pickles. I could eat a jar over the course of a day or two…

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4 responses »

  1. Gotta love those ice-box pickles. Your post reminded me of going to my grandmother’s house (actually my GREAT-grandmother). She and my great-grandfather always had a huge garden and canned everything they could. Pickles were her specialty, but she canned strawberries, peaches, beans, corn, tomatoes, you name it.

    • I found the canning process complicated so i’ve looked around for other preservation options! I’ve frozen apples from my neighbor’s tree, squash casserole, blackberries and blueberries, all gleaned from generous neighbors. And i spied a pecan tree while walking the other night….hmmmmm (LOL)

  2. Hi – Thanks for recommending using a Teflon pot during your pickle making process. I represent DuPont and it’s always a pleasure to see people recommending our products in their recipes (although this is the first time I have seen it for pickles :).

    If you are interested in some other recipes or great cookbooks to look at for your frugal living needs, drop me an email and I would be glad to help you out! Thanks. Cheers, Ross

  3. Hi Ross- i actually used a glass bowl for my pickle making as i microwaved the water and vinegar mixture. But if one if using a stove top method, a coating pot is a must so the vinegar mixture doesn’t seep into the metal!
    😉 I buy my pots at second hand shops. It’s amazing what the college kids’ parents buy them when they attend school and what the kids ditch at the end of the school year!

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