If you've read my previous post on grape picking and canning jam, then you know that I'm not a fan of the canning process. That being said, this recipe requires no canning! Just follow the directions, place in the fridge, wait two days and Voila! You have two jars of pickles that are better (and cheaper) than most store-bought varieties. If you're like me, you will stare at them every time you open the fridge until those two days have passed :) As an added benefit, they will keep in the fridge for several months, but I doubt they will last that long!
2 quart-sized Mason jars, bands and new lids
6-8 pickling cucumbers (the fresher, the better), cut into halves or spears
2 cups distilled white vinegar
2-1/2 cups water (filtered or distilled preferred)
6 Tbs kosher salt
1 tsp red pepper flakes
6-10 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced in half
4-8 Tbs dill seed **
1 Tbs whole black peppercorns
**My first batch was a bit too zesty/salty, so I cut way down on the dill seed in my second batch. You cannot cut down the salt, because the brine requires a specific proportion of vinegar and salt to pickle. So adjust the dill seed according to your tastes.**
-Sterilize the jars, bands and lids in boiling water (you really don't have to sterilize the jars, but I prefer to do so).
-Divide the garlic, dill seeds, pepper flakes and peppercorns into the jars.
-Wash the cucumbers and cut off any bad spots, in addition to cutting off the stem ends. Divide the sliced cucumbers into the two jars, leaving 1/2" to 3/4" space at the top.
-Combine the vinegar, water and salt in a non-reactive pot to make the brine. Bring to a boil and stir until the salt is dissolved.
-Pour the hot brine over the cucumbers and leave 1/4" space at the top of the jars. Wipe the top of the jars, put the lids on and tighten.
-Age for at least 2 days in the fridge.
**This recipe has been adapted from this website, and can also be used to pickle green tomatoes.**