Celebrate summer by gathering friends and hosting a Refrigerator Pickle Party. Refrigerator pickles are easy as you do not need special equipment or canning know-how. Simply choose whichever vegetables you like, assemble into glass jars, add brine, and refrigerate. Your party guests will have fun and bring home lovely, edible creations.

This post is sponsored by New Seasons Market.

Refrigerator pickle parties are a snap to host. The key is organization before the event:

Step 1: You will need a good amount of counter space to cut vegetables, assemble, and pack jars. I suggest five guests maximum. Also, do you own enough knives, cutting boards, and kitchen towels for your guests or should they bring their own?

Step 2: Share your refrigerator pickle recipe with guests prior to the event. Divvy up who brings what. For example, one person can bring vinegar and sugar, another person can bring three vegetables, etc.

Step 3: Either request that everyone bring their own glass jars (about 5-8 pint jars is a good number) or gather enough glass jars and matching lids for guests. To save time during the event, sterilize jars and lids beforehand. Also do not forget containers that hold jars for transport home. I suggest the boxes that canning jars are sold in as they make great containers for tip-free commutes.

Step 4: State your party start and end times. Two hours is ample time and everyone should be able to finish their creations.

I have partnered with my favorite neighborhood grocery store, New Seasons Market, to assemble some of the most beautiful and crunchy refrigerator pickles. New Seasons Market has many locations with stores in the Portland, Oregon, metro area, southwestern Washington, Seattle, and northern California. Right now some of the most gorgeous produce is available. From fresh carrots to interesting items like baby turnips, I encourage you to experiment and choose vegetables that you like or are curious about.

New Seasons Market. Lake Oswego, Oregon
Experiment with new foods
A cartload of pickling goodies!

Preservation method: Acid and refrigeration

Difficulty level: Easy

Crunchy Refrigerator Pickles

This recipe makes one quart jar or two pint jars (double, triple, quadruple depending on guest list and amount of jars)

4 generous cups of mixed vegetables

1 hot pepper (jalapeno, cayenne, Fresno, ghost, etc.), seeds removed if desired

2 cups white vinegar

2/3 cup granulated white sugar

1 tbsp yellow or brown mustard seeds

1 tsp celery seeds

1 1/2 tsp Pickle Crisp (a natural crisping agent that keeps pickles from becoming soggy)

Prepare brine by combining vinegar, sugar, and mustard and celery seeds in a large pot. Heat on medium-high to boiling and allow to boil gently about five minutes.  Depending on number of guests and jars, double, triple, or quadruple the recipe. Add Pickle Crisp to pot and stir to dissolve.

Give each guest a cookie sheet with a kitchen towel placed inside. Place their sterilized glass jars onto towels. This will ensure that glass jars do not break when filled with hot brine and they will be easier to transport.

Individual towel-lined work stations

Wash, trim, and cut vegetables. When cutting, consider the size of jars you will be fitting  pieces into and how large you want the pieces to be when serving later. Fit cut vegetables and peppers into glass jars allowing 1/2″ headspace.

Have fun and be creative

Pour pickling liquid over vegetables in jars. Using skewer, remove air bubbles and adjust liquid again to allow 1/2″ headspace.

Apply lids and bands. Date jars and store in refrigerator as these pickles are not processed.

For best results, allow pickles to marinate in the refrigerator for at least two weeks. Use within three months.

TIP: Excess pickling liquid can be placed in a canning jar, covered, and refrigerated up to two weeks. Pour over veggies to make more pickles at your leisure or add to coleslaw dressing or marinades.

Recipe from Ball Canning.