pickle making ideas for this basic recipe

I have a recipe for pickles that works but am looking for some variations.
It has salt, vinegar, pickling spice & alum. you put this in a jar with the cucumbers and top off with water if needed. Cap the jar & leave it in the refrigerator for 2 months (yes, for that long). When this time has passed, rinse them & cut into whatever way you like (spears, chunks, slices) and put them in a clean jar and add sugar, 1 cup to a quart. Cover and refigerate for 48 hours and they are ggod to go. The taste is fine but not spectacular. I'm looking for some ideas to kick them up a notch. I'm planning on adding some fresh orange zest to the sugar & figure that some red pepper flakes would be safe. Looking for some other ideas since a have several jars that will be ready soon.

MikeSch59
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5 Comments

MMH October 14, 2021
We like Alton Brown’s refrigerator pickle recipe. We like the addition of turmeric, mustard seeds & fresh dill.
 
drbabs October 12, 2021
Check out Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Practical Pantry by Cathy Barrow. She has a whole section on pickling vegetables.
 
Nancy October 11, 2021
MikeSch59 - experienced pickle maker and presever writing.
For flavor, fruits like the orange you mentioned, sour mango, aromatics (garlic chile onion lemongrass), leafy herb like dill.
Also, large amount of single whole spice, after the pickling spice stage or instead of them.
On safety, not sure as I don't know the two-stage process you are using.
Maybe someone here will know more.
Or ask an expert, like a canning jar manufacturer or county/state extension service.
 
MikeSch59 October 11, 2021
Thank you for your suggestions. I will be trying some of them. These are refrigerator pickles so there isn't any preserving involved.
 
Nancy October 11, 2021
Glad to help.
Also, on the aromatics, I would experiment with one or two at a time, to let the flavors shine through.
 
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