BoBtanical Gardens – Relish This!

All these recipes can be stored in the refrigerator — an easy way to preserve vegetables for later use without canning.


Refrigerator Dill Pickles – Sheila Hillberry (from Doris Forest)

Heat the following together:

8 cups of water ½ Cup of sugar

2 cups white vinegar 1 tsp alum

½ cup canning salt

Put some dill in the in the bottom of a 5 quart ice cream pail or gallon jar. Slice cucumbers in quarters lengthwise and fill the pail jar. Put in more dill and 3 cloves of garlic on top. Heat the juice to dissolve the sugar and salt. Pour over the cucumbers. Cover tightly and leave on the counter at room temperature for 2 days, then refrigerate.

Note: This recipe can be reduced or increased to suite size of your crop! In addition, leftover “juice” can be stored for a few days and used for the next batch. Store the brine in a covered jar and warm it up before using on the next batch. Alternatively, pour leftover brine over cucumbers to make a cucumber salad.

Amounts for one quart:

2 cups water, ½ cup with vinegar, 2 tbsp canning salt, 2 tbsp sugar and 1/8 tsp alum.

I like to make slices, spears or “planks” (lengthwise slices) in quart jars, as you can get more in.


Refrigerator Sweet Pickles – Sheila Hillberry (family recipe)

Mix and allow to sit one hour, then drain and rinse:

7 cups sliced cucumbers 1 cup sliced onions

1 Tbsp salt

Stir together (do not heat):

Two cups sugar 2 cups vinegar

1 ½ tsp celery seed 1 tsp dill seed

1 tsp turmeric

Pour cold mixture over cucumbers and onions. Refrigerate. Makes one gallon of pickles.


Dilly Green Beans – Shelia Hillberry (adapted from the Ball Blue Book)

1 pound snap beans, trimmed to fit jar(s) or cut to desired size. 2 garlic cloves

1 cup vinegar 1 cup water

2 heads of dill, or 2 tsp dill seed 2 small hot peppers or ½ tsp cayenne pepper flakes(optional)

2 Tsp pickling salt

Trim beans as desired. Place 1 clove garlic, 1 head (or one tsp) dill and one small pepper or ¼ tsp pepper flakes (if desired) into container(s) with lid(s). Mix vinegar, water and salt in a medium saucepan. Heat to boiling. Add beans, return to a boil for 3 minutes. Pour brine and beans over dill, garlic and hot pepper. Cover with lid and keep refrigerated until used up.


Pickled Beets – Joe Hillberry

Scrub and cook one pound of beets in their skins until fork tender. Drain and reserve the cooking water. After the beets have cooled, slip off the skins and slice larger beets or cut to desired size (small beets may be used whole).

Combine in saucepan:

1 cup reserved cooking water Two 3 inch cinnamon sticks broken in half

¾ cup vinegar 1 cup sugar

Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Add pealing (and cut up) beets and bring back to boiling. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours before serving. Store in the refrigerator. (Australians use slices of pickled beets on their hamburgers instead of pickles—try it!)


Pickled Dilly Carrots – Sheila Hillberry

Makes a pint and a half jar or two 12 ounce jelly jars. Active time 20 minutes, total time 48 hours.

1 ½ pounds carrots, trimmed to fit jars (you may use carrot thinnings or “baby” carrots)

1 cup white vinegar 1 cup water

1 tablespoon pickling salt 1 tsp dill weed, dill seed or fresh dill heads

½ teaspoon black peppercorns 2 cloves garlic

Peel carrots, cut into thin sticks and trim to fit jars. Blanch carrots in boiling water for 3 minutes for refrigerator pickles. Cool the carrots in cold water 3 minutes to stop cooking. Place dill, peppercorns and garlic cloves into bottom of container(s). Pack cooled carrot sticks upright in jar(s). Combine vinegar, water and salt in a small pan and bring to a boil. Pour the boiling brine over the carrots, leaving ½ inch of headspace. Tap the jars(s) gently to remover air bubbles. Apply lids.

Put pickles in fridge as soon as the jars are cool. Let pickles rest in the pickling liquid for at least 48 hours before eating.


Homemade Sauerkraut – Joe and Sheila Hillberry, Mel and Tammy Glover

Be sure all equipment is scrupulously clean. We wash the crock with bleach water, rinse well and let dry in the sun the day we make the kraut. Use a 1 gallon container for each 5 pounds of fresh cabbage (5 gallon crock for 25 lbs. of cabbage). Twenty-five pounds of cabbage makes 9 quarts of sauerkraut. Work in batches as follows:

2 ½ – 3 lbs. firm white cabbage (late cabbage is best), outer leaves and cores removed , shredded (1/2 gallon).

1 ½ – 2 Tbsp pickling salt

Mix pickling salt into the shredded cabbage using your (clean!) hands or a wooden spoon. Let the mixture sit 10-15 minutes until the cabbage begins to wilt and juice forms. Pack very firmly into a crock or deep bowl, using your hands or the bottom of a jar to pack. Keep pressing and packing until the juice comes above the surface of the cabbage, but don’t crush the cabbage.

Fill one or more food grade plastic bags with water. Seal each bag of water in another plastic food bag. Make enough bags to place on top of the crock or bowl to prevent and air from reaching the surface of the cabbage. Make sure the bags are sealed securely so they don’t leak.

Set the crock in a spot where the temperature won’t exceed 72 degrees (We use our basement shower stall). Let the cabbage ferment for about 2 weeks. Taste it occasionally after a week. When the flavor pleases you, it is done. Store in a covered jar in the refrigerator, where it will keep for months, or can in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes for pints, 20 minutes for quarts.

Categories: BoBtanical Garden