Over the weekend, I had a long-time dream come true: I taught my first full-on cooking class. We played around with my refrigerator pickle recipe and had such a blast!
I’ve done pickling demonstrations before at farmers markets, cafes, and even at my kid’s school, but this was my first time doing a hands-on pickling class. It was everything that I dreamed it would be! We talked about food and flavors and how to adjust the spice in a recipe that calls for jalapenos. We chopped, boiled, tasted, and laughed.
This refrigerator pickle recipe is what’s called a skeleton recipe. It gives ingredient types and lists amounts in ranges, so you can choose your own pickling adventure.
I love talking about food and cooking with folks, so when my friends Christy and Shannon asked me to teach a workshop on how to make refrigerator pickles, I was over the moon.
The workshop was part of a crafty camp for grownups that they hosted called Craft Escape. It was four days of DIY workshops, and it was fantastical. I was only able to make it to one other workshop – a salt making class with Beautiful Briny Sea – but next time I hope that I can go to more of the sessions. There were a print-making class and a hand-lettering class that both looked really amazing. It was an honor to have a workshop among so many DIY superstars!
The class was split into two parts: first, we made the Quick Pickled Onions and Jalapenos recipe from my cookbook Bowls. It’s a very straightforward refrigerator pickle recipe, to sort of get everyone’s feet wet.
For part two, we had a heap of beautiful veggies, herbs, and spices, and everyone made up their own refrigerator pickle recipe. I loved seeing what folks came up with!
There are a lot of ways to make refrigerator pickles, but I thought it would be fun to share the basic refrigerator pickle recipe that I used in the class. We tweaked this recipe to accommodate the ingredients that each student chose.
Basic Refrigerator Pickle Recipe
For some harder veggies, like okra and carrots, I like to use salt to wilt the veggies before stuffing the jars. If you want to try this, just do this before step 1: massage 1 tablespoon salt into your veggies, and let them sit in a colander for at least 20 minutes (up to an hour, if you can wait that long). Then, rinse the salt off thoroughly before putting them in your pint jars, and nix the additional salt from the recipe below.
Yield: about 1 pint
- 2 cups chopped or whole vegetables of your choice
- 1/2 cup vinegar of your choice (we used apple cider vinegar)
- 1/2 cup water
- up to 2 tablespoons herbs (of your choice!)
- up to 2 teaspoons spices of your choice (we offered black peppercorns, coriander seeds, and mustard seeds)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 0-4 tablespoons sugar (more for a sweet pickle, less for a more sour one)
- 1-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2-4 tablespoons chopped onion of your choice
- Stuff your veggies into a glass pint jar. If you’re leaving them whole, but they’re too tall to fit even vertically, just slice them down to size, so they fit.
- Combine the remaining ingredients in a small saucepan, and heat them until they boil. Once you have a nice, rolling boil, turn off the stove, and pour the hot brine into your jar. The heat from the brine will soften the veggies.
- Screw the lid onto your jar loosely, and set it on the counter to cool. Once it’s cool enough to handle, you can tighten the lid and stick the jar into the fridge.
- Your refrigerator pickles will keep for 3-4 weeks. I recommend writing the date on the jar, because I hate playing, “When Did I Make These, Again?”