Say Pickles!

‘Tis pickling season! You know it’s come when you see mass quantities of Ball jars on sale everywhere. How fortunate are those who have such an overabundance of home-grown vegetables that the only way to deal with them is to pickle and can them? With fresh inspiration from the edu-tent at the Glenwood Sunday Market, and the fortuitous acquisition of a bounty of cucumbers (from a location which I wish not to disclose at this juncture…), I shall pickle.
After making a seriously good batch of refrigerator pickles (bread and butter, of course), I’m left with a sinking feeling. Do I put them in a hot water bath until the jar lids make that popping sound? Do I simply put on the lid and store in the fridge? Dear me, I can’t remember! I choose hot water bath. However, after noticing a slight sediment that has formed in my pickle jars, and confirmation from GSM’s pickling expert Toni that they needn’t be hot water bathed, I have serious regrets. I hope that six months from now, when I crack open that jar in the middle of a Chicago blizzard, that that my dear pickles that tasted so yummy this morning don’t disappoint…. or give me a case of botchulism.
Want to try it yourself?
Easy Refrigerator Bread and Butter Pickles (courtesy of
8 small pickling cucumbers, washed (not peeled), and very thinly sliced
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
4-1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp crushed dry red pepper flakes
1/2 celery seed (in my case, optional)
1-Combine all ingredients in a soup pot and heat to boiling, stirring occasionally

2-Boil one minute, stirring frequently
3-Pour mixture into a large bowl, cool to room temperature
4-Cover and chill overnight before serving
5-Spoon into jars with tight fitting lids and refrigerate for up to four weeks…. (jury is still out whether or not you can use hot water bath to extend shelf life and seal jars. I’ll let y’all know when I crack them open in a couple months).

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Lauren Warnecke is a freelance writer and critic based in Chicago, IL. She is the dance writer and critic for the Chicago Tribune, a culture critic at Chicago Magazine, and has credits with See Chicago Dance, the Windy City Times, Dance Magazine and Pointe, among others. Since 2009, Lauren has blogged about dance in the American midwest at She is also a group fitness instructor and part-time faculty member at Loyola University Chicago

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