While we adjust to life as a family of 5, a few local moms kindly agreed to keep MiniBury readers entertained with tales and adventures from their own lives. Today Suzanne Young tells us about her passion for food and children. Suzanne is the cook at Mary Johnson Children Center in Middlebury and we can personally attest to her remarkable ability to engage children in food. Take it away Susanne!
Just in case your cucumber plants are bursting with fruit here is a quick, kid friendly way to make refrigerator pickles!
Dill is a hot commodity right now! One of our classes at Mary Johnson visited the farmers’ market this week with the hopes of purchasing some dill. Much to their dismay the last dill bundle was bought just as they approached the farmer’s stand. If you can’t find fresh dill you could also use dill seeds. You might also try adding parsley or other herbs to your recipe for a new flavor.
To make Zippy Refrigerator Pickles you need:
- 3-4 Small glass jars with lids, 8 oz. jam Ball type glass jam jars or any clean, re-used, glass jar from your pantry. Since the pickles are not being canned you don’t need to worry the lids sealing.
- 3-4 small to medium cucumbers. The smaller the cucumbers the crisper the pickles will be in the end (and less seedy)
- 2 cups of apple cider vinegar
- A few sprigs of fresh dill leaves or seed heads
- 3-4 cloves of garlic
- Mustard seed or turmeric if you like
Slice the cucumbers into medallions, try to make sure they all uniform thickness. Chop 2-3 cloves of garlic finely, use more cloves if you want the pickles a bit spicy or less if you want them less spicy. The dill leaves should be trimmed so they fit into the jars, but not chopped. Or use dill seeds from the flower tops.
Add the garlic to the bottom of the jars. Then the sprigs of dill or dill seeds. If you are adding mustard seed or tumeric add a pinch to the bottom of the jar too.
Add the sliced cucumbers to the jars, packing them in to fit as many as you can, but not too tight.
Now mix the vinegar with water in a separate bowl or pitcher. Use one part vinegar and one part water. If you have 3 jars of cucumbers mix 1 ½ cups apple cider vinegar and 1 ½ cups water.
Pour the vinegar and water mix over the cucumbers in the jars. Poke the cucumbers with a knife to make sure the cucumbers settle into the jars. Make sure the cucumbers are covered with the vinegar and water mix. Add a ½ teaspoon salt to each jar.
Cover the jars. Place in the refrigerator for 5-7 days. Eat! After you have eaten the first batch of pickles you can slice up another cucumber and add it to the original vinegar mix in the jars for a second go-round. The pickles will be a bit milder.