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Too many cucumbers? Make pickles!

By Penny Stine

I went out to my garden last week and found a few lemon cucumbers. I love lemon cucumbers because they're not so huge that you eat one cucumber for an entire week. They're also never bitter, and they have a nice, fresh taste. 

We eat cucumber salad, with tomatoes, basil, balsamic vinegar and feta cheese (and anything else that's coming out of my garden or the fridge - like red peppers, onions, peaches, pickled garlic, black olives or green olives) several times a week in August, September and into October. One lemon cucumber is usually good for two people, especially when you add other ingredients. 

Lemon cucumbers, once they get going, produce a lot of cucumbers. We can't eat that much cucumber salad, and they don't last at all. Three days in the fridge and they're starting to turn rubbery. Although my husband and I don't eat a ton of pickles (actually, neither one of us eats any pickles), I thought I'd make some refrigerator pickles. 

Refrigerator pickles are just that - they go directly from the bowl you make them into a jar or plastic container and into the fridge. They must be kept in the fridge to guarantee that they won't go bad, and most recipes usually say the pickles will stay crunchy for a month or two. I confess that I've kept them in the fridge for six months or more (I told you we don't eat pickles) and they're still fine. 

Because I gave away all my dill, I couldn't make refrigerator dills. which seem to be the most common type, with loads of recipes on the internet. I've been experimenting with herbal vinegars all summer, however, so I decided to make hot mint pickles. (I made a mint vinegar with red chiles and garlic earlier this summer.) 

They taste pretty good, and I really will try to remember to eat them. In my case, it's not that I dislike pickles, it's just that I don't like them so much that I make much of an effort to eat them - even when the effort only involves walking downstairs to my spare fridge, opening the jar and snagging a few pickles!

At least the jar is pretty. It will be a nice decorative touch, which no one will ever see, since they're sitting on a shelf in my spare fridge. 


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That’s a lot of pickles!

Yes, it is. Sadly, my hubby isn’t crazy about them. They taste kind of like the old-fashioned bread and butter pickles, with a little dash of minty heat.

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