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Preserving the Harvest: Refrigerator Pickles & Dehydrated Cherry Tomatoes

August 10, 2011

I’m baaack!

I went to a food preservation workshop a few weeks ago, and while I was disappointed at the lack of hands-on preservation work, I did learn a few things.

First, did you know that drying cherry tomatoes is a great way to preserve them? It enhances their sweetness, and makes them even more yummy! I’m not experienced in dehydrating foods, but my co-worker has a dehydrator and makes his own beef jerky, so I asked him to dehydrate some of my cherry tomato crop, and he obliged. I plan to add these to pizzas for a sun-dried effect, to salads, and perhaps drizzle some with oil and basil to have with baguette or something. Any suggestions?

Next, refrigerator pickles are super easy to make, and because they go directly in the refrigerator, they don’t have to be canned. Any glass jar with a tight-fitting lid will suffice.

Wanna make some? Here is what you’ll need:

  • Several cucumbers
  • 2 dill heads or 3 Tbsp. dill seeds
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Small slices of onion (optional, and not present in my pickles)
  • 2 Tbsp. pickling spices (can be purchased anywhere canning supplies are sold)
  • 2 1/2 c. distilled white vinegar
  • 2 c. water
  • 2 Tbsp. pickling salt

Directions:

  1. Sterilize (in dishwasher or boiling water) one gallon glass jar, or several smaller jars and their lids.
  2. Combine the vinegar, water & pickling salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and cool.
  3. Distribute the dill, and pickling spices evenly into the bottom of jars (Put all spices in bottom of gallon jar if only using one).
  4. Cut cucumbers (and onions, if using) into spears or slices, and add to the jar(s). You can pack them pretty tightly.
  5. Pour the cooled vinegar mixture over the cucumbers, making sure that all the cucumbers are completely covered.
  6. Seal with a tight-fitting lid, label with the date, and refrigerate. Allow to remain closed in the fridge for at least 3 days before eating, but waiting 2-3 weeks will allow for best favor.
  7. Keep refrigerated and the pickles will keep indefinitely.

**If you don’t need an entire gallon of pickles, and would like to go with the smaller jars, consider inviting some friends over to make their own jar of pickles to take home.

***I added a small amount of dried hot pepper to my pickles for a kick!

Oh! My pepper plants are producing like crazy, and I can only make so much guacamole and give so many jalapenos to my chiropractor. I now have accumulated a large bag of japs which are waiting patiently in my fridge to be pickled sometime this week. I’ll be canning these, and will post pics and a recipe soon!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 11, 2011 1:12 pm

    I have a dehydrator that i NEVER use. Maybe I should pull it out and dry some shit.

    • August 11, 2011 4:46 pm

      Yes, you should Nick. Use it or send it to Bloomington where it will get some love!!!

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