making sweet pickles using my late mother-in-law's recipe, and discovering midway through that I didn't have quite enough sugar. I went ahead with them anyway, reasoning that, with the vinegar undiluted, it probably doesn't matter how much sugar I use as far as preserving them.
As it turned out, I rather liked them better a little less sweet (they're still plenty sweet). Then, in a comment, Ashley (aka Michigan Matron) asked me to share the recipe, and I meant to do so a little sooner than this.
I intend to make another batch myself, with some of my bounty from a recent trip to the Midtown Farmers Market, our local urban community market. I'll probably reduce the sugar again, even though I've restocked the pantry, just because I like them better that way. And I may include some carrots in the mix, reducing the cucumbers a little to keep the quantities the same, just because I like to experiment, and the additional color sounds appealing to me.
This recipe is the original, with my variations in parentheses, so you can choose the way you prefer to make them. Enjoy!
Ruth's Refrigerator Pickles (makes 3 pints)
7 cups sliced cucumbers, unpeeled (or 6 cups cucumbers and one cup thinly sliced carrots)
1 cup sliced onion
1 cup sliced green pepper (I used mostly red bell peppers, for the color)
1 Tblsp salt
1 tsp celery seed (I used Simply Organic's all-purpose seasoning, which includes celery seed)
1 tsp mustard seed.
—Combine all of these, stirring so that salt and spices get thoroughly mixed with the vegetables, and let stand one hour. (I put it in a large stoneware bowl and cover it with a plate.)
2 c. sugar (I used 1&1/2 cups)
1 c. white vinegar
—Stir to dissolve sugar. Let mixture cool a little. Put cured vegetables in pint jars, pour in vinegar-and-sugar syrup; wipe edges clean and screw on bands and lids. Or use any jars and lids you have. Refrigerate.
You can eat them as soon as they're cold, and they'll keep for months in the refrigerator. Make some now and you'll have a nice homemade condiment to bring to those holiday gatherings.