Refrigerator pickles and banana peppers
3 small cucumbers, sliced thinly
1 large banana pepper, sliced
5 cloves garlic, crushed
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups water
1 Tbsp raw sugar
2 Tbsp fresh chopped dill or 2 tsp dried dill
2 tsp mustard seed
2 tsp kosher salt
Combine cucumbers, pepper slices, garlic, and bay leaves in a bowl. Combine vinegar, water, sugar, dill, mustard seed, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Stir until the sugar dissolves, and then pour this over the cucumbers. Cover the bowl, let cool, and refrigerate. The cukes and peppers are great the next day, but they develop a more intense flavor if left longer.
I can't stop eating these to the point that I'm afraid that the acid is going to tear a whole in my stomach. They're great on salads or by themselves. They definitely taste closer to a dill pickle than the ones stored only in vinegar, and it's worth the extra effort. I'm really glad that I threw the banana pepper in there - it's much better than the heavily pickled store-bought ones! After depleting some of the original stock, I tried adding more cucumber slices to the bowl as my grandmother usually does. They're good, but didn't absorb nearly as much of the vinegar flavor as the original ones and maintain more cucumber taste. If you're after a strong pickle flavor, make a new batch each time. But make sure to make a lot because they'll go faster than you could ever imagine. I'm submitting this to Weekend Herb Blogging, which is organized by Haalo from Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once, and is hosted by Dhanggit from Dhanggit's Kitchen this week.