I’m pretty sure refrigerator pickles are nature’s most perfect food. And they’re hard to eff up. Use these instructions to try your hand at them. These instructions are straight from yours-truly, and they’re customized for what I like in a pickle. You may find you like different things. The thing with pickles is that you can just add or take away whatever you want. Vinegar is a preservative and you can’t really hurt yourself as long as you’re careful with hot liquid. So, get going.
A gallon of distilled white vinegar (you’ll have leftover vinegar, yes, but that just means you’ll keep making pickles!)
Something to pickle (start with whole or sliced cucumbers or asparagus)
¾ cup sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
pickling add-ons (onion, dried red pepper, garlic, mustard seeds, peppercorns – whatever you think will taste good!)
A sterilized glass canning jar (just sterilize by dipping in boiling water and allowing to dry). You can even reuse a pickle jar, since these are just refrigerator pickles and you won’t need to seal it.
What you do:
First, wash the food you want to pickle. Cut off any blemishes and stems. Trim to a preferred size or keep whole.
Then, take the cucumbers or whatever it is and put in a bowl of ice water. Let sit for a few hours (or overnight). This will make things stay crispy when you pickle it. You can skip this step if you want.
Now, tightly pack the veggies into the canning jar.
Next, mix the vinegar, sugar, salt and add-ons in a saucepan and bring to a rolling boil. Once the sugar is dissolved (about a minute), carefully pour the brine over the veggies in the jar. Don’t worry if it doesn’t totally cover everything at first; after an hour or so, give the jar a good shake to jostle things into the brine.
After everything is cool, put the jar in your fridge for a few days and let the flavors develop. (I like to wait about a week total.) Then eat! These’ll keep for about a month. If they even last that long. Nom!