Rochester, New York City Guide
Rochester, NY City Guide

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Max's Fresh Refrigerator Pickles

Max Lent 1996-2015

If you are 40 years old or older, you will probably remember having refrigerator pickles when you were a child. When you serve these pickles to middle aged or older friends, be prepared to hear childhood stories of life on the farm or stories about a grandmother's cooking. This recipe makes a great tasting pickle, make a little extra. They are easily to eat and disappear quickly at the dining table.

These refrigerator pickles are perfect for a summer treat that doesn't require heating up your kitchen. They require no sterile canning jars, special lids, or anything else required of canning. These medium to paper-thin sliced, mildly sweet, "fresh" pickle slices stay very crunchy for up to about three weeks in the refrigerator. Serve them as a relish, appetizer, or side dish.


2 unpeeled or peeled English or Armenian cucumbers or 3 large regular cucumbers (each about 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter)
1 or more large green, red or yellow peppers (stem and seeds removed)
1 very large or 2 or more regular-sized onions
1 tablespoon regular iodized salt
2 teaspoons celery seed
1.5 Cup sugar
1 Cup white, cider, or white wine vinegar

Increasing ingredients

You will eventually want to increase the ingredients to make ever larger batches so that you can share some with your relatives and friends.  What you will discover is that there is never enough vinegar/sugar solution to cover your pickles.  When you increase the number of pickles in the recipe to six and increase the onions and the pickles to match, you will find that you may have to increase the sugar and vinegar times six. 


Cut 2 unpeeled or peeled English or Armenian cucumbers or 3 large regular cucumbers (each about 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter) into slices about 1/16 to 1/8 inch thick. Don't spend a lot of time measuring slice thickness, it is not all that important. Slice 1 or more large green, red or yellow peppers (stem and seeds removed) and 1 very large or 2 or more regular-sized onions. Combine vegetables in a large 3-4 qt. bowl and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon salt and 2 teaspoons celery seed. Toss gently, but thoroughly using two soup spoons or salad spoons, cover bowl with plastic wrap and let stand for about 1 hour. While the vegetables are standing, combine 1.5 Cup sugar and 1 Cup white, cider, or white wine vinegar. Stir to dissolve sugar. You may have to stir for a few minutes before the sugar dissolves.

After about an hour, pour the vinegar and sugar mixture over the vegetables and gently toss to blend. Transfer to a large non-metallic bowl, cover and refrigerate. We use a 10 cup #9 Rubbermaid container, but a large bowl with plastic wrap over it will work fine. If you use a plastic bowl the bowl will smell of the pickles forever, so select your bowl carefully.

The pickles are ready to eat in about 5 minutes, but the original recipe suggested storing the pickles in the refrigerator for a day before eating and waiting a few days to allow proper pickling. Ours have never lasted more than a couple days, so we can't be sure what they are supposed to taste like if they are made as directed. Makes about 4 cups.

  • If life is not exciting enough for you, try adding hot peppers to the mixture.
  • If you experiment with this recipe, please share your successes with Max Lent .

Figure 6.  Finished pickles with some
from tasting:-)

Figure 1. Sliced cucumber

Figure 2. Cucumbers in bowl

Figure 3. Bell peppers sliced

Figure 4. Cucumbers, peppers, onions, and celery seeds

Figure 5. Mixture after being tossed and covered with plastic wrap.



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