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Easy Refrigerator Pickles

My absolute favorite types of pickles (cucumber pickles) are the In-Your-Face-Garlic-Breath kind of pickles.  These are not those kind...but I hope to make some soon.  These are simple refrigerator other words, not "canned".  Make them in small batches to eat over the summer.  Those weeks when you know you'll be cooking out a lot are the perfect excuse to turn a few cucumbers into no-hassle pickles.  Quick pickles are also the perfect time to experiment with flavors.  Test out different herbs, spices and add-ins...that way, when it comes time for preserving large batches for canning, you can make new varieties with the flavor combos you like best!  Last weekend at the Farmer's Market I bought three long and lovely seedless cucumbers.  I did not buy dill.  I could have sworn there was some growing in our community garden, or at the very least that I still had some dried.  Nope...on both counts.  Therefore, my pickles were not dill pickles...but they were still delicious!  We grilled up some burgers, bbq chicken and hotdogs...these were a fabulous accompaniment to all of them.  Slightly sweet with a little lingering heat.  I cut each cucumber a different way, for different textures and jarred them separately.  One was thin and flat.  Another was slightly thicker and wavy (cool cutter from Pampered Chef). And the third was cut on the bias, thick and wavy (big 'uns). The thin ones tucked nicely into hotdog buns...the slightly thicker, wavy slices rocked with tangy bbq chicken...and the big 'uns were perfect for stacking a burger! 
Sweet and Spicy Refrigerator Pickles
for one small batch...depending on how you slice your cucumber, it'll fill a quart jar 1/2 full to all-the-way-full!

1 seedless cucumber (~6-8" long), sliced as you wish
3 Tbs. cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. sea salt or kosher salt
few grinds of black pepper

a few big pinches of each:
crushed red pepper flakes
yellow mustard seed
celery seed
dehydrated garlic

Combine everything in a clean 1 qt. jar and shake it up until the cucumber slices are well-coated with everything.  Store in the refrigerator.  Use as needed, turning/shaking gently the jar occasionally (because the liquid does not cover the cukes completely).  Will keep for at least a few weeks.

This post is linked to Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade and Wholesome Whole Foods at Health Food Lover.
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