It’s almost summer, and after a year-long sabbatical (due in large part to having to pickles 60 jars of beets for my wedding last year), the pickling has once again begun. This means the apartment once again smells like boiled vinegar. This means fresh produce is necessary. And this means pickles, and plenty of them. Pickling is possibly the easiest thing to do in the kitchen, aside from maybe drinking beer, so I’ll be posting my adaptations of recipes here. This one comes courtesy of Karen Hursh Graber, who is something of an expert on the cuisine of the Puebla region of Mexico. I adapted her recipe as follows:


  • 1 pound jalapeño chiles, washed and stems left intact
  • 6 tablespoons olive
  • 1 head garlic, cloves separated, left unpeeled, and sliced lengthwise
  • 3 cups cider vinegar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ tablespoon sugar
I left out the onion and carrots here, but only because my kitchen was understocked. Yes, pure laziness. They should be in here. I also omitted marjoram and used cider vinegar – I just like cider vinegar for pickling. For this recipe, I think white vinegar is too bland, and the sweet tartness of cider vinegar should suit it just fine. These are refrigerator pickles, no need to hot water seal your jars, although you should sterilize them in your sink.

Cut an X into the tip of each jalapeño.

Heat the oil, add the garlic and jalapenos and sauté for about 5-10 minutes over medium high flame.

Add the vinegar and remaining ingredients and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Ladle the mixture into sterilized glass jars, cover and refrigerate. Makes 3 pints.