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Pickling to Preserve the Harvest
Sep 28

Pickling to Preserve the Harvest

By Kelliann Walsh, Phipps Discovery Education Specialist

Tis the season for harvest!  If an over-productive cucumber vine has you in a pickle, here is a fun and easy way to dill with it!  There is no need for expensive canning equipment, just a few simple ingredients, a pot and jars work well.  This type of pickling is called refrigerator pickling.  Refrigerator pickles take much less time to make, taste great, and there are no canning steps required.

Pickling vegetables in this way is a great way to get children involved in the kitchen.  Children can help by picking and washing the vegetables; they can also help to make spice selections and prepare herbs.  Pickling also provides a great opportunity for kids to experiment with seasonings, seeing how different herbs and spices change or enhance the taste of vegetables. 

If your family enjoys savory pickles, basil, dill, mustard seed, peppercorns, and garlic can be added into the mix.  For the people with a sweet tooth, apple slices, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves give the pickles a softer, sweeter taste.

Most love the crunch of a fresh pickle so get them involved in seeing how pickles are made with this easy recipe.


Dill Pickles (Refrigerator Pickles)

4, quart-sized jars with lids
20 pickling cucumbers (you can experiment with other vegetables like carrots, onions, peppers, or green beans)
1 bulb of garlic, broken into cloves, sliced
Fresh dill
Seasoning (it can be sweet or savory depending on the herbs and spices used)

Brine solution

8 cups water
1/2 cup Bragg’s apple cider vinegar (raw, organic)
1/3 cup sea salt


Make the brine solution: Mix all of the ingredients together and boil until all salt is dissolved.
Wash your cucumbers; slice into quarters lengthwise or into slices.
In each quart container, place enough dill leaves to cover the bottom of the jar, add 4-6 sliced cloves of garlic, a pinch of seasoning and herbs, and sliced cucumbers, tightly packed.
Pour the brine solution over the cucumbers, herbs and spices in each of the jars.  Be sure that the cucumbers are submerged.
Cover the jars and shake a few times.
Leave your jars in the refrigerator overnight.
In the morning, voilà, you enjoy your crunchy treat!