How do you make pickles?
There are a number of ways to make pickles -- the simplest of which is "quick pickling" where you soak vegetables or fruits in a vinegar-based brine and eat them within a few days. (like this: http://www.food52.com/recipes...)
Here's another great recipe for lacto-fermented pickles -- no vinegar here: http://www.food52.com/recipes...
To make kosher-style home-made pickles (no vinegar) place washed pickling cucumbers in a large ceramic or earthenware bowl, add room temperature water (not straight from the tap) mixed with salt (1 heaping tablespoon salt for each litre of water), several peeled garlic cloves and several stems of dill. Cover with a large plate and place something heavy on top of the plate. Leave at room temperature in a darkened location. Do not disturb. You may see some bubbling. In about 3-5 days depending on the temperature you will have dill pickles. Discard the dill stems and garlic. Place the pickles in a jar with some of the liquid and refrigerate. Will keep for several weeks in the fridge.
In the recipe for lacto-fermented pickles...what are *garlic scapes*???
Garlic scapes are the stem on a hardneck garlic. They curl upward as they grow, and it is at this stage that you often see them for sale at farners markets when they are young and tender. They have a delicious mild, garlicky taste and are great in pestos and in sauteed dishes.
My favorite recipe for pickles is the one that my mother makes. It couldn't be simpler. I do throroughly wash and sterilize my jars in very hot water, but no water bath is needed for the canning itself.
Mix 2 cups white vinegar, 3/4 cup coarse kosher salt, 1/4 cup sugar, 9 cups bottled spring water in large bowl until sugar and salt are dissolved and mixture is thoroughly combined.
Cut ends off 15 pounds of cucumbers (I use small ones) and slice into spears about four inches long -- just long enough to fit into a wide-mouth pint jar. Add a pinch of diced garlic, a few sprigs of fresh dill, and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes to each jar. Add cucumbers to jar, filling jar until full but not crowded. Fill jar almost to the brim with brine. Add a few more pinches of garlic and dill to the jar. Tighten lids by hand. Store in a cool place, but not in the refrigerator, out of the direct sun. Twenty-four hours later put jars in refrigerator and keep cold until ready to eat. Cold-pack pickles will keep for a couple of months. Makes 16 pints. These are super tasty and make great gifts.