Pickled Refrigerator Carrots It's summertime in a jar!
For one (pint) jar:
1 or 2 extra large raw carrots, peeled and sliced into 4-inch by 1/2-inch spears
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup white distilled vinegar
2 tablespoons pickling spice blend (or a favorite all-purpose or grill seasoning blend)
1 tablespoon dry yellow mustard seeds
salt, optional and to taste
Place trimmed and sliced carrot spears in one glass jar, stuffing pretty tightly.
In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and vinegar and heat over medium heat to dissolve sugar, stirring constantly. Allow mixture to come to a boil and then shut the heat off.
Pour the mixture over the vegetables, until the liquid comes up to nearly the top of the jar. I find it's easiest to pour the vinegar-sugar mixture into a heat-safe, 2-cup glass measure rather than trying to pour from a saucepan directly over the vegetables since more seems to spill onto the counter than get into the jar.
Add 2 tablespoons pickling spice blend and 1 tablespoon mustard seeds to each jar. If adding salt, add to taste.
Seal jar and shake gently to disperse spices.
Allow jar to cool on counter before transferring to the refrigerator. Do not put hot glass jar into a cold refrigerator, they could crack. Vegetables will be 'ready' after about 2 hours, but the full effect of the pickling will set in about 48 hours later. Vegetables will keep refrigerated in jars for many weeks; let common sense and your tastebuds be your guide.
Try using other vegetables such as cauliflower, beets, turnips, rutabagas, cucumber, or andy firmer vegetables.
Think outside the box and add spices and seasoning blends like Jerk seasoning, chipotle seasoning, mesquite grill seasoning, or Indian spices, garlic or onions; add fresh herbs like dill or thyme to the jars. If desired, add salt to the brine, to taste.
Prepare as many jars of pickled vegetables as your refrigerator has room to hold. Just be sure to use equal parts sugar and vinegar when preparing the brine.
The pickled vegetables will last weeks, up to 2 months, for sure.
These pickled vegetables make wonderful hostess gifts and make an appetizer tray beautiful.