One culinary feat I've never attempted is canning. I'm not terribly interested in it, to tell you the truth, and also a little nervous about doing it properly. However, if I do ever decide to try it, probably the first thing I'll put up will be pickles. Until then, refrigerator pickles will certainly do! A friend had a bumper crop of cukes this summer, which translated to my own bumper crop of pickles. I kind of pieced together a bunch of recipes I found online, but the first batch I made was much too vinegary for my taste. I don't like sweet pickles, but these were way too acidic. After that I hit on a very good formula.
5 pounds pickling cucumbers
Fresh dill fronds
Garlic cloves, peeled
Whole black peppercorns
6 cups water
3 cups apple cider vinegar
½ cup kosher salt
Scrub and trim the cukes, then cut them into spears or chips, however you like 'em. (I did some of each.) Divide them up among several glass jars. Add some dill fronds, garlic cloves, peppercorns, mustard seeds, and celery seeds to each jar.
In a large pot, combine the water, vinegar, and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve the salt.
Pour the hot brine into the jars and make sure everything is submerged. Cool to room temperature, then close the jars and refrigerate for at least 2 days before tasting. They should keep for a few months, if you don't eat them all before then!