I'm making fridge pickles, and this brine smells and tastes *amazing*!
These pickles were inspired by a post I saw by Twitter user GoblinMarket a while back ago, and there's not really a recipe as much as a list of ingredients and looking at other recipes to guess how much of the important stuff (vinegar, salt) I want to throw in. I made these before, but these are slightly different than last time. If anyone likes pickles and wants to give it a try:
"Winged Fridge Pickles"
You will need: cucumbers (regular or mini work), a clean jar with a tight lid (or lidded glass bowl), a small cooking pot
🧂Ingredients (measured): 1 cup vinegar, dash of balsamic vinegar, 2 tbsp aji-mirin, 1/2 tsp coarse kosher salt, 3/4 cup water (or 1 cup if you like your pickles less vinegary)
🌿Other ingredients (winged it): bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, dill, red pepper flakes, black peppercorns, freshly ground pepper, minced garlic. (nb: I don't think I added more than a rounded teaspoon of any of these, and I definitely used the most dill and garlic)
Add all ingredients to a pot, bring to a boil, and then simmer for about 5-8 minutes while you wash and slice the cucumbers however you like. Allow the brine to cool enough to not instantly cook the cucumber.
Put the cucumber slices in the jar, and then pour the brine (seasonings and all) over the cucumber. Tap/gently shake the jar as you pour so that there are no air bubbles. If you made a lot of brine, pour some of the liquid off into a measuring cup so the seasonings make it into the jar, then top off the liquid. Close the jar and give it a quick shake so the seasonings are distributed throughout the cucumber. Also take a second to admire this Pinterest-looking assembly.
Pop the jar in the fridge and let pickle at *least* overnight, but 24 hours is better before you try them (but don't eat them all, because they get better with time)!
ETA: The instructions as noted makes enough brine for a pint jar or two worth of pickles, depending on how tightly your jar is packed. You need more brine when your jar isn't as full to fill in the open space, so you'll get fewer jars if you don't fill them with cucumber.
(If you have any brine left over, it would work *very* well on collards if you're the type that likes peppered vinegar on yours. Or, if you're a pickle juice drinker, you can just knock it back! It has all the good flavors: tart, salty, a bit of sweetness from the mirin and balsamic, savoriness from the herbs, and a spicy kick.)