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My Aunt’s Refrigerator Pickles – and a Spicier Variation

My mom’s side of the family comes from Michigan’s Thumb region which is known for its growth and manufacture of pickles and relish. Many of my cousins worked at “The Pickle Factory” for their summer jobs, and most of my aunts had a personal variation on a pickle recipe or two.

This recipe is one that Jan and I received on a 3 x 5 card when we were married coming up on 3 decades ago. It was hand-typed but unsigned so I can’t give proper credit. I’m also including the variation I tried this year that uses less sugar but a bit more spice for a hotter, more tart pickle.

Refrigerator Sweet Pickles

4 cups vinegar
1/2 cup kosher salt
4 cups sugar
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. mustard seed
1 tsp. celery seed
5 onions, sliced
Cucumbers –about 9 medium, sliced

Put all ingredients, except onions & cucumber in a pot and bring to a boil. Let cool. Put sliced onions & cucumbers in glass jars and pour cooled mixture over them. Store in refrigerator.

20 Minute Jim’s Hot and Sour Pickles

4 cups apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup Kosher salt
1 cup brown sugar
1 Tbl turmeric
1 Tbl. celery seed
1 Tbl. mustard seed
1 Tbl. hot pepper flakes
3 large white onions, quartered and sliced
10 cucumbers, seven inches long

Follow the same process as above. Makes three quarts. Store in the refrigerator.

Refrigerator pickles are great for beginners because they are fast and easy. We get the pleasure of a pickle without all the fuss and steam of canning– although we are also big fans of canning our bounty. What’s your favorite pickle– spicy, sweet or sour?

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