If the monsoons have sent your garden into overdrive in the last few weeks, you're likely looking for a way to deal with the bounty once your crisper drawers fill up. One quick option is to pickle something! Pickled veggies keep for a few weeks. Though, to be honest, they are so tasty they may disappear quickly.
If you grew any garlic last fall and have some fresh dill in the garden, add that to a half-dozen pickling cucumbers and you're ready to make a crisp, cold treat. House-made pickles have dozens of uses, from burgers to salads to an impromptu snack. Even better, when the pickles are all gone, you can use the juice for pickleback shots (serve with whiskey, vodka or tequila).
Feel free to experiment with the seasonings. Brown or yellow mustard seeds, dried dill and black peppercorns are dependable stand-bys. But try adding allspice berries, coriander, green or pink peppercorns, or small dried chiles to shake things up. You can peel the cukes or leave the skin on. Small pickling or English cucumbers don't need peeling, but the larger ones with tough skins can yield puckered pickles as the flesh pulls away from the rind. You can also throw in some thinly sliced rings of Bermuda onions or scallions.
Brine per 24 oz mason jar:
1 cup vinegar (white or cider)
1/2-3/4 cup white sugar to taste
2 tbl. salt
Dash each of 3 or 4 spices/seasonings like dill, mustard seeds, black peppercorns, etc. or a few sprigs of any fresh herbs
2-3 garlic cloves, smashed with the flat of a heavy knife
Bermuda onions or scallions sliced thinly (optional)
2-4 cucumbers sliced in 1/4 inch rounds, enough to fill the jar
1/4 -1/2 cups water
Fill a 24-ounce mason jar with sliced cucumbers and spices, packed tightly. Heat the rest of the ingredients in a small saucepan, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Turn off the heat, and let the liquid cool to room temperature. Then pour into the jar. If any space remains, add water until the cucumbers are completely submerged, screw on the lid and refrigerate. The cucumbers will be ready to eat in about 24 hours, and the longer you leave them the more intense the flavor will be.