spicy cucumber, carrot & onion refrigerator pickles
refrigerator pickles are perfect when you don't feel like going through the process of water bath canning. the refrigerator version involves covering the vegetables in a hot vinegar-based brining solution and then refrigerating for a minimum of 24 hours. the water bath solution, similar to jam making, involves packing the vegetables and brine in canning jars and then boiling the jars in hot water until they seal. both options are perfect for making pickles...and both have pro and cons...so i make both versions.
i usually make the refrigerator version early in summer when i don't feel like spending hours over a hot stove. this technique produces delicious pickles but the down side is they have a shorter shelf life and must be kept in the refrigerator. the processed version can be stored in the pantry and eaten all winter when the produce is out of season. i tend to process pickles near the end of the season to ensure my pantry is stocked for winter.
i made spicy pickles today and used cucumbers, carrots, onions, garlic and jalapenos in an apple cider based brine. later in summer i will make a similar recipe but adapt to the processed version. enjoy!