If you're looking for a way to use up extra onions from the farmer's market or your garden this Fall, this is a really great way to do it.  It's easy, fast, and those jars just look so pretty and cheery sitting on your pantry shelf. 

Come winter, pulling out a jar of these crisp-tender, sweet-sour, super-spiced pickled onions will be one of your favorite things to do. 

These taste amazing topping a piece of crusty french bread with a slice of Irish Cheddar or on top of a burger.  Heck, these can even make hot dogs edible. 

If you don't feel up to canning (which you should give a go if you haven't done it), you can just do all the steps up to putting them in the hot water bath and pop them in the fridge instead.

makes: 6 half-pint jars
takes: about 1 hr. prep; about 10 mins. to process

5 cups red and/or white and/or yellow onions, sliced thinly
4 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 T. canning salt
1 tsp. celery seed
1 tsp. mustard seed
1 tsp. dill weed
1 tsp. whole peppercorns
1 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced thinly

6 half-pint jars and lids

Fill a large stock pot with enough water so that the jars will be 1-2 inches under water when filled. Turn on to high heat until it boils.  Place jars in boiling water with lid on for at least 10 minutes to sterilize.

In a large saucepan, heat the vinegar, sugar, water, and salt until it begins to boil.  When it starts to boil, remove sterilized jars from water and set onto a dish towel- put the lids in the water to sterilize and turn off the heat.  Stuff each jar with the sliced onions- tightly packed.  Distribute the spices and garlic evenly among the jars (as best you can- this doesn't need to be exact).

Pour the boiling brine into each jar (it should have boiled for about 2 minutes, but it can go a little longer), leaving 1/2 inch head space.  Wipe rims well to remove any brine.  Remove lids from hot water and turn heat back on.  Tighten lids onto the jars with the rings to fingertip-tight.

Place the jars back into the hot water bath.  Start timing once the water begins to boil again- process them for 10 minutes (adjust to your altitude using this USDA chart)

Remove from heat and set on a folded dish towel on the counter.  Allow to completely cool.

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