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Sept 2023 Pickle Juice Patty

Patty B. knows all about saving money since she was raised with seven other Catholic siblings in Washington State. And growing up with so many offspring engrained in her a love of frugal cooking. So, when Patty announced that PICKLE JUICE has a lot of cost-effective merits, this Frugal Catholic decided to listen and learn.

Patty, when you were growing up in your large family, did your mother show you how to reuse pickle juice, or did you discover that trick for yourself?

"My parents loved pickles, but I don't remember them cooking with the juice. Of course, their pickle addiction was passed off to all seven of us, and I guess I taught myself how to re-use the juice."

What are some easy ways to take a plain vegetable and make it into a pickled one? Also, how long does pickling take in the reused juice?

"You can pickle just about anything edible with vinegar and seasoning in one hour to several weeks. I save all of my vinegar-based items, such as pickled beets, dill pickles, etc., and then I add that juice to soups, stews, dressings, and dips. That pickled seasoning adds extra zip to the recipe. You can also pickle other vegetables for summertime fun, such as adding canned green beans to the pickle juice. Those pickled legumes go great with hamburgers or hot dogs from the grill. Even picked onions add some extra flair and are likewise easy to make by chopping up the onions and adding them to your vinegar-based juice in the refrigerator."

What about green olive juice or juice from other vegetables? Do you have any good ideas on how to reuse that liquid?

"Mom made cream cheese and olive sandwiches for lunch when we grew up. As odd as those sound combined, they were delicious sandwiches, and I still enjoy them today. To make the spread, simply lay out a block of cream cheese overnight on the counter, and after it has softened, put it in a bowl, add as many chopped olives as you want plus a teaspoon or two of the olive juice as needed to the cream cheese to soften it, and blend the mixture all together and refrigerate. Mom always used green olives, but black olives are great too if you prefer them. Cream Cheese and Olives taste delicious on any kind of toasted bread in case you don't want to brown bag it. And then you have all that olive juice left over to pickle another vegetable. It's a win-win."

Patty, with food prices rising weekly, what are some good Frugal Catholic tips for keeping family food prices down? What has worked for you and your husband?

"When shopping I generally never buy anything unless it’s on sale. I try to buy fresh as much as possible to prevent spoiling, and I also freeze leftovers for another day. It all adds up!"

Refrigerator Pickles Recipe

Slice cucumbers and put them in a large jar or container.


3 cups vinegar

3 cups sugar

1/3 cup salt

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon celery seed

Add onions if you wish. Pour the pickling mixture over the pickles and refrigerate. Leave in liquid 2 weeks before eating. Be sure and stir every day.

Better is a dinner of green herbs where love is than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.


Martha Wild King, M.Ed., Author

The Frugal Catholic: Learn to live on less to give and save more.

Martha Wild King, M.Ed., Author

The Frugal Catholic: Learn to live on less to give and save more.

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