Simple Refrigerator Pickles

Simple Refrigerator Pickles

Hi everybody! My name is Kim McCann and I’m a program developer here at Conner Prairie. Today I’m going to talk to you about pickles.

Most people really love pickles, well they either really love them, or hate them. However, I will say one thing, pickles were extremely important to people in the early 19th century. Why you may ask? Because they didn’t have refrigerators like we did today. Pickling was an excellent way to preserve food and that is how people got through those long months without anything.

In the early 19th century, pickle was an entire category of food. When we think about pickles today we usually think about cucumbers, but back then they pickled everything. They pickles peaches, peppers, cucumbers, squash, pumpkin, all kinds of fruits, beets, eggs and even fish sometimes.

Today we are going to pickle zucchinis and beets. And you’ll be enjoying these within 24 hours, but they might taste better if you wait longer!

So a very simple list of ingredients and spices that you can modify to you or your families taste:

1/2 c. Cider Vinegar
1/2 c. Water
1 t. Prepared Horseradish or Minced Garlic
1-2 t. Mustard Seed
1-2 t. Peppercorns
2 t. Sugar
3 t. Kosher Salt
1-1 1/2 T. Dill
1/4-1/2 t. Cayenne Pepper
2 medium sized Beets
1-2 medium sized Zucchini
1 Onion

In a small saucepan, heat vinegar and water over medium low until simmering. Add remaining ingredients and stir, cooking until salt and sugar dissolve. Remove from heat to cool.

Cut vegetables in uniform 1/4″ slices and pack tightly into clean quart-sized jars, leaving 1/2″ headspace. Pour warm brine solution into jars over vegetables, being sure all vegetables are covered by brine. Cover tightly with lid and shake to distribute spices and release air bubbles.

Refrigerate for 24-hours or up to three weeks.

See the ‘Simple Refrigerator Pickles’ on Conner Prairie’s YouTube Channel for more information on quick pickling!