Whenever Joe and I are eating something with cucumbers, the cucumbers always end up on my plate, and most of the time, I don't mind. But when our CSA share came with 4 good-sized cucumbers, that was slightly more than I wanted to eat on my own before they went bad. Then I had a flash of genius, or rather, I remembered the Alton Brown episode where he made refrigerator pickles, and I knew the fate of the CSA cucumbers. I only had to acquire a few extra things: canning jars, pickling spice, and celery seeds.
I'm still sort of amazed that I made pickles and that they are very good, so much fresher tasting than the kind you can buy. Plus you can control your own spices. I made four jars, and we've already eaten through one. Alton Brown says that these will last up to 3 months in the refrigerator since the environment is so acidic, but we'll be lucky if these last to the end of the week.
Alton Brown's Bread and Butter Pickles
source: Food Network
* 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
* 2 medium cucumbers, thinly sliced
* 1 cup water
* 1 cup cider vinegar
* 1 1/2 cups sugar
* Pinch kosher salt
* 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
* 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
* 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
* 1/2 teaspoon pickling spice
Combine onion and cucumber slices in a clean spring-top jar.
Combine the remaining ingredients in a non-reactive saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 4 full minutes to wake up the flavors of the spices.
Slowly pour the hot pickling liquid over the onion and cucumber slice, completely filling the jar. Allow the pickles to cool to room temperature before topping off with any remaining pickling liquid. Refrigerate.