Refrigerator bread-and-butter pickles

[What I had for breakfast today: the last of the lamb curry congee with sautéed collards, fermented sriracha, and a fried egg.]

It still feels like late summer here, which means there are cucumbers everywhere. Cucumbers are currently Kamal's favorite food; he eats them sliced and plain, eschewing any salt or spice or dip. He's a cucumber purist. These sweet, mildly spicy bread-and-butter pickles, though, are one of the few ways he'll gladly accept adulterated cucumbers.

We love this recipe for the same reasons you will: it's easy, it's fast, it doesn't require major processing or any canning or even heat. All you need for tools are a good knife, a big jar, and your refrigerator--although a food processor certainly speeds things up.

Adam's mom emailed me this recipe in 2011, and we've made it every year since. It was created by family friend Dave, who came and visited us this past April and got along swimmingly with Kamal.

Sliced cucumber mixture just before pouring brine into jars

You can certainly scale the recipe up or down depending on how many cucumbers you've got.

Dave's Refrigerator B & B Pickles

Place in a large jar:

6 cups thinly sliced cucumbers (for these and the onions, Adam used the slicing mechanism on the food processor, set to a 2mm slice) 

1 cup thinly sliced onions 

1 pepper, sliced (optional; Adam put a couple of cayennes in our most recent batch)  

For the brine, in a separate container, mix together:

1 1/2 cups sugar

1  cup white vinegar (Adam used our homemade apple scrap vinegar here, but we've used white vinegar too. Either works deliciously.)

1 tablespoon salt

1/4 teaspoon celery seed

1 teaspoon mustard seed

1/8 teaspoon turmeric

Pour this brine over cucumbers, onions and pepper(s) in jar. Tightly shut lid and put jar in refrigerator. Pickles will be ready to eat in a week, maybe a little less, and in the fridge will keep for a month or two or three--or possibly longer; we just always eat them before that. 

Are they ready yet?