Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Conquering in the Kitchen

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I conquered two things today in my kitchen:

#1 - The insane amount of fresh (and free!) cucumbers all over my counters that I was afraid of wasting because we couldn't eat them fast enough

#2 - My mandoline-based bad chi

I have been warned by my husband that due to the fact I slice my fingers open every time I use the mandoline, I am not allowed to use it without supervision (i.e. him standing by with a tourniquet and phone to dial 911). Today I decided to (dun dun dunnnn) use it by myself after at least a 3-month-long hiatus from the mandoline! Thankfully I didn't so much as nick myself with the blade, otherwise I never would have heard the end of it!

I used the mandoline to make homemade refrigerator pickles out of the rest of our cucumbers. If you don't have a mandoline, you can absolutely use a knife to slice up your cukes - it just takes a lot longer and is harder to get those uniformly 1/8" sized slices.

This recipe made 4 pints of pickles and fit perfectly into 4 pint-sized mason jars. If you have bigger jars, go for it, I just couldn't find any large jars unless they were sold in pallets of 12 at a time...I definitely wasn't ready to try to make that many pickles and unload them on all of my unsuspecting friends (you can thank me later).

Empowered Refrigerator Pickles

- 7 cups of sliced fresh cucumbers (I sliced them 1/8" inch, but choose your own thickness)
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup cider vinegar
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1 cup diced green pepper
- 1 tsp. celery seed


Slice the cucumbers thinly using a mandoline or knife. Transfer to a large bowl and coat with the kosher salt. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.

2. Don't drain the liquid! Add in the peppers, onions and celery seed. Mix up the sugar and vinegar separately, then pour over the veggies and toss thoroughly to coat.

3. Spoon the cucumber mixture into mason jars, seal tightly and refrigerate. I'd recommend waiting about 48 hours to try eating them, just to give them time to soak up all those yummy juices!

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