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!
You can pickle that! Here's my basic refrigerator pickle recipe, plus tips and tricks to help you come up with your own creative pickle ideas.
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.
Sweet pickled onions recipe
- 1 sliced onion - Red or white is fine. You'll end up with about 2 cups, sliced.
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
- ¼ cup sugar
- Stuff the onions into a pint-size mason jar.
- Combine the remaining ingredients in a small saucepan, and heat them until they boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. This should only take a few minutes. Turn off the stove, and pour the hot brine into your jar. The heat from the brine will soften the onions.
- 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.
- You can eat these as soon as they're cool enough to handle, but they're even better if you can wait about 24 hours, to give the onions time to soak in that beautiful brine!
- Your pickle onions will keep for 1-2 weeks. I recommend writing the date on the jar, because I hate playing, “When Did I Make These, Again?”