Low-Salt Refrigerator Pickles


In 1986, I was living with my husband and youngest daughter in Blue Jay, Ohio, on the Indiana border.  My husband had a huge garden and lots of cucumbers.  This was one of a long list of recipes for pickles that I used.  I was still working full time and commuting an hour each way, so this one was good because it used a lot of cucumbers and made up quickly.  I could get a batch made up after supper and they could be used within 4-5 days.   This recipe is from my bible at the time – Pickles & Relishes – 150 Recipes – Apples to Zucchini.



  • 3 qts thinly sliced cucumbers
  • 3 medium size onions, sliced thinly
  • 4 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 cups cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp pickling salt (optional)
  • 1-1/3 tsp turmeric
  • 1-1/3 tsp celery seeds
  • 1-1/3 tsp mustard seeds



Layer cucumbers and onions in a jar, packing tightly.  Combine remaining ingredients and stir to dissolve the sugar.  Pour the syrup over the cucumbers and cover tightly.  Refrigerate for 4-5 days before using.

Keep these pickles refrigerated.  You can add to the mixture whenever you have more cucumbers.

Yield:  3 quarts


Freezer Tarragon Pickles

Back in 1987 when my husband, daughter and I lived in a rural area called Blue Jay on the Ohio/Indiana border, I tried out numerous recipes to use up all of the produce that came from our large garden.  I had a lot to work with and a family to feed, so I preserved a lot of stuff.  Now, my daughter is married, my husband passed away four years ago and I like to make just a jar or two of my favorites from 20+ years ago.  This is a good refrigerator or freezer pickle recipe I make when I have some fresh tarragon and can find pickling cucumbers at the farmer’s market.


  • 4 cups thinly sliced cucumbers
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tblsp. pickling salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. celery seed
  • 1/2 Tblsp. fresh tarragon
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

In a large bowl, combine cucumbers, onions and salt.  Let stand for 3 hours.

Rinse vegetables under cold tap water and drain well.

Combine the granulated sugar, white wine vinegar, white vinegar, celery seed, tarragon and pepper and add the drained vegetables.  Mix well and pack into two one-pint containers.

I keep one jar in the refrigerator to cure for one week before eating, and place the other jar in the freezer for a summer treat during the winter.  When removing from the freezer, allow to defrost in the refrigerator for 8 hours before serving.

Yield:  Two pints 

These pickles are light, crisp and refreshing.