Margaret Button | Kitchen Comfort: Try these easy pickling recipes

Early in my marriage, I went through a stage where I felt the need to preserve summer's bounty by canning tomato sauce or making jams and jellies. Then God blessed us with a child, which left me no spare time — and the only thing I was concentrating on preserving was my sanity. As the years went by, our garden became smaller and I discovered I could freeze veggies and spaghetti sauce. I canned hot sauce a few years ago (after an explosion of cayenne peppers from the garden) and my mother-in-law's chili sauce a few times, although it doesn't last long enough to be canned!

This year, I planted jalapenos in one of the horse troughs I call my garden. There weren't enough to bother canning, but freezing them makes them mushy. A friend came to the rescue by suggesting I try pickling them — using a recipe that didn't require processing the filled jars in a water bath. There's a jar of pickled jalapenos sitting in my refrigerator just waiting for a plate of nachos or a big pot of chili. Warning: Wear plastic or latex gloves when slicing and handling the jalapenos ... and whatever you do, don't rub your eyes!!!

Quick pickled jalapeno rings


3/4 cup water

3/4 cup distilled white vinegar

3 tablespoons white sugar

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 clove garlic, crushed

1/2 teaspoon oregano

10 large jalapeno peppers, sliced into rings


Combine water, vinegar, sugar, kosher salt, garlic and oregano in a saucepan over high heat. Bring mixture to a boil, stir in jalapeno peppers and remove from heat. Let mixture cool for 10 minutes. Pack peppers into jars using tongs, cover with vinegar mixture, cover and refrigerate until needed.


I also came across a recipe for some pickles that seemed custom-made for me. One of my go-to drinks year-round is the infamous gin and tonic — with two wedges of lime. So, trying these pickles was a given. I also think they would be good if vodka was substituted for the gin. Plus, there was no cooking or water bath involved.

Gin and tonic pickles


6 small cucumbers, such as Persians, ends trimmed and quartered lengthwise

4 slices of lime

1/2 cup gin

1/4 cup lime juice

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup tonic water


Place cucumbers and lime slices into jar. Top with gin, lime juice, sugar, and salt. Screw lid on tightly and shake to combine. Open jar and add tonic water; the cucumbers should be fully submerged.

Refrigerate overnight and up to 2 days to allow cucumbers to pickle. (Pickles will keep in the fridge up to 1 month.)


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