Pop Pickles: Cucamelon Refrigerator Pickles

For a couple of years now I have seen these little mini-watermelon cucumbers that have quickly become all the rage for urban gardeners. The seed packet labeled them as mouse melons but I think the true name for them is Mexican Sour Gherkins. Either way, I had no idea really what they are or how they taste. So, I got on the wagon and grew a patch in my backyard.  I’ve been wanting to grow a tee-pee from some sort of vine, so it sounded like a good idea to try my tee-pee using these seeds.

I built the frame of my tee-pee out of fat bamboo cane, strung twine horizontally from post to post from about 7” off the ground and then about 12” in between each row of cording, then I seeded the mouse melon fairly thick in a mounded line directly under the bottom row of twine. I threw a bit of straw over my row and pretty much just walked away and let it be whatever it was to become. It started out looking like this:
 It quickly grew to look like this. 

It was a tee-pee fit for a chief, and the chickens and black snake (we won't talk about him) loved it as much as I did! So it didn’t take too long for the miniature watermelons to come on to the vine.  

They were in fact very tiny, but very prolific.  There was an entire Teepee full of baby watermelons, and I had no clue what to do with them! 

To be completely honest, they were a lot cuter than they were delicious. They were good enough fresh picked, but they were not awesome, so I set out find a pickle recipe.  You know what they say; If it’s not delicious fresh, make pickles out of it. So I did.  And boy am I glad I did because they are awesome!  Pop Pickles are the perfect size to flip onto a good salad or to pick onto the top of a sandwich, or to just open the fridge and pop a few straight from the jar right into your mouth, they actually pop out loud when you crunch down on them! That is why I call them pop pickles.   

If you happened to grow the mouse melon, aka: cucamelon, aka: miniature watermelon, aka: mexican sour gherkins, or whatever you want to call them, or if you plan to grow them next season, here is a good refrigerator pickle recipe that you need.  It is simple, taste great and easily adaptable to however many mouse melons and jars you have on hand.  Which I am sure is going to be a lot. 

 How to make them: 
  • Wash the cucamelons in cold water. 
  • Make brine:
    •  To determine how much brine to make calculate about one cup brine per 2 cups cucamelons.  I rather have too much brine than not enough and I am not very good at calculations so I just err on side of too much.  No biggie, vinegar is cheap. 
    • In a stainless steel pan, measure equal parts water and vinegar + 1Tb pickling or Kosher salt per equal parts liquid. (To determine how much brine to make calculate about one cup brine per 2 cups cucamelons. 
    • Bring brine to a boil long enough to melt salt. Turn off heat, and let sit to room temperature. 
    • Meanwhile, slice sweet peppers julienne style, and peel one-two garlic bulbs per jar. Cut an "X" in the bottom of each garlic bulb so the oils can infuse the pickles. 
    • Fill jars with cucamelons, garlic & peppers. 
    • Pour in brine, completely covering the contents in the jar. 
    • Cap tightly and place in fridge for at least two weeks before opening. 
You do not have to use Ball jars for refrigerator pickles because they do not have to go through the actual canning process, but I use Ball jars for everything because they are so reliable in the canning process, and they are just so charming with the finished product in the end.  These jars are special "Feeding America" jars that I love.  You can get these jars at Amazon.  If you want to purchase them, please click on my affiliate link for them "here". I will earn a teeny percentage of your purchase.  

These pickles are cute and tasty!  If you have not yet, grow cucamelons and make these adorable little refrigerator pickles!   

Cheers Y'all!, 

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