Refrigerator Pickles

Vivian’s Cukes (Refrigerator Pickles)


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  • 6 cups sliced cucumber (2-3 large cukes)
  • 1 cup sliced onion
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. mustard seed
  • 1 tsp. celery seed

Thinly slice the cucumbers and onion. Combine in a bowl and set aside. Mix together remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Remove mixture from heat and pour over cucumbers and onions. Mix until well-coated. Put cukes in glass jars and seal. Allow them to sit in the fridge for 2-3 days, then enjoy.

A Cut Above the Rest

Some things are simply better than others. This might not be a popular sentiment, but it’s the truth when it comes to these pickles. They’re delightfully sweet with a slight tang – really, what you’d expect from bread and butter refrigerator pickles. The difference is these are homemade, which makes them taste much better simply by default. Also, they are better.

Now, I don’t have a lot of tips and tricks for this recipe because it’s fairly straightforward. It’s become well-known in my family and has been passed around many times. From what I’ve learned, it’s best to use a mandoline (the kitchen utensil, not the musical instrument) to slice the cukes and onions. This gets them to a satisfactory level of thinness and goes much faster than using a knife.


If you’re planning on storing the pickles for some time, it’s worth sealing them in a jar. However, it’s not necessary to do so if you’re going to eat them right away. In my experience, they don’t last long enough to bother sealing them. I should probably mention that “right away” means after the 2 days of sitting time. Otherwise you’re just eating vinegar-soaked cucumbers, and they’re not that great.

The last thing to mention, even though it should be obvious, is that these pickles must be kept in the refrigerator. (After all, they are called refrigerator pickles.) Not only does this keep them from spoiling, but they also taste better when they’re cold. Of course, they also taste good even when they’ve been sitting out. Really, they’re just always tasty.

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