When the folks at Farm Aid asked me to do a refrigerator pickle demo at their Sept. 22 event in Hershey, PA, I was happy to oblige! Willie Nelson, Jack Johnson, fridge pickles and 30,000 people rocking out to support family farms—what’s not to love?
Farm Aid has a great site called Homegrown.org, and at each event they host a Homegrown Skills tent featuring fun workshops, speakers and demos from local gardening gurus and experts. I was in great company that day—the lineup included an heirloom seed saving demo by Tim Mountz of Happy Cat Farm, a soil workshop by the experts at the Rodale Institute, a presentation from PASA’s Buy Fresh, Buy Local Campaign and many other farm/foodie rockstars.
There was quite a crowd that wanted to get their pickle on, and I was thrilled to meet so many first timers who were excited to make pickles from their own gardens this year. I answered a ton of gardening questions, and made a quick batch of green tomato pickles and pickled jalapenos (which I just picked that morning).
Ready to make your own batch of rockstar pickles? Here’s the recipe we made at Farm Aid, from my book Homesweet Homegrown:
Easy One Step (Rockstar) Refrigerator Pickles
6 cups chopped or sliced vegetables (any kind will do—try cucumbers, green tomatoes, jalapenos, beets, whatever is handy!)
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 cups of white vinegar
1 cup of sugar
3/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of mustard seeds
4 garlic cloves, sliced
Optional spices to add: Habanero pepper slices, peppercorns, dill, etc.
Makes 4 pints
Pack vegetables, spices and garlic clove in sterilized jars. Combine vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan, stir well and bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute then pour into jars and put the lids on. Let cool and then store in the fridge.
These pickles are a great alternative to traditional canning because the veggies stay crunchy, and you don’t have to drag the canner out, but, because of this, they need to stay in the fridge. Enjoy!