We’re in a Pickle

But it’s a homemade pickle. While I was busy with pumpkin muffins and pumpkin smoothies last week, Shaun worked on a project of his own. After a week of waiting, we cracked into a jar of his pickled vegetables.

Let me tell you something about our pickle eating habit: it’s excessive. We go through many a pickle jar in this house. I’ll generally grab one out of the fridge any time I’m in the kitchen. I throw pickles in salads and sandwiches, and consider them an appropriate side dish for almost any meal. The Local serves a seasonal pickled vegetable salad sometimes that’s to die for, and I think about it a lot.

Shaun also has an excessive jar habit, meaning he holds onto any jar that we empty. It’s quite a collection. But said jars came in handy when we found pickling cucumbers at the farmer’s market last week.

Mini Cucumbers.

Their forces combined with the pickling spice we bought last year at the Reading Terminal Market to create these delicious, sugar-free, spicy snacks.

There's some carrots hiding in there, too.

These pickles are crispy, sour, and have a kick of ginger to them. I give both jars a week.

Pickling Pro-Tip 1: Shaun wanted me to make sure I let you all know that it’s imperative that the ends of the cucumbers be removed before putting them in the jar. The ends of cucumbers, for some odd reason, contain enzymes that soften the pickles into mush.

Pickling Pro-Tip 2: If you’re a crispy pickle fan, the refrigerator method is the way to go. Heat-treated pickles are much softer than those made in the fridge.

Ginger Refrigerator Pickles (Vegan, Vegetarian)

Prep Time: One week

Tools: Empty jars


  • Pickling cucumbers or other vegetables (but not cabbage, that has a totally different process), ends removed and sliced into bite-sized slivers
  • Liquid mix: 1/2 apple cider vinegar and 1/2 water – as much needed to fill your jars
  • 1 1/2 tbsp pickling spice per jar (whole coriander, mustard seed, dill seed, cinnamon, peppercorns, garlic, usually)
  • 1 bay leaf per jar
  • 1 1/2 tsp ginger per jar


1. Remove the ends of the cucumbers, slice them, and stuff them into empty jars.

2. Place 1 bay leaf and 1 serving of the spices into each jar.

3. Bring the vinegar and water blend to a boil – pour into each jar.

4. Seal the jars tightly and let them sit in the fridge for one week before opening. Enjoy!

Notes: Experiment with spices! I’m interested to sub the ginger for sriracha or chili flakes next time.


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Categories: Recipes


Courtney grew up in Reading, PA, and has lived in New York City (where she earned a bachelor's degree at NYU), Prague, Philadelphia, and Charlottesville (where she received a J.D. from UVa Law). Courtney and her new husband will settle in Philadelphia following a six-week Euro-trip extravaganza in September of 2012. Courtney's interests include music, writing, criticism, fitness, travel, cooking, and sports. Please enjoy the blog. LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/courtney-marello/1a/375/b30 Tumblr: http://abarrelofoddsandends.tumblr.com/


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3 Comments on “We’re in a Pickle”

  1. October 10, 2011 at 8:22 am #


    • October 10, 2011 at 8:23 am #

      Thanks! And super simple. They’re much less brine-y tasting that pickles from the store – it’s a unique flavor.

  2. Adrienne
    October 10, 2011 at 7:18 pm #

    Definitely going to try this!

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