I usually get my pickles from my mother, who loves growing cucumbers and canning the results, but this week I thought "why don't I just make my own?" Pickles are such a great Summer thing...finding a recipe on the internet took two seconds and I picked the most basic one and changed it up to my taste.
(Yay! I got a food processor!)
4 c. thinly sliced cucumbers
1 c. thinly sliced onion
2 t. kosher salt
1 c. cider vinegar
3/4 c. sugar (though next time I will increase to 1 c.)
1 T. mustard seed
1 t. celery seed
1/2 t. red pepper flakes
1/2 minced garlic
Prepare your jars. I boil the lids and rims in a big pot of water for 5 minutes, then pour the water into to jars I'm going to use. Then, add more water to that same big pot and get it boiling. Make the brine in a medium sized pot: bring the vinegar and sugar to a gentle boil, add the mustard seed, celery seed, red pepper flakes, and minced garlic and boil gently for another couple of minutes while you layer the cucumbers and onions in your jars. Pack them in, but leave enough space for the brine between the layers. Pour the hot brine into the jars, leaving about 1/2 inch head space in each jar. Clean threads, apply lids and rims, process for 5 minutes in that big pot of boiling water. (I like them crisp, but not raw and processing them helps them seal, too) Set jars upside down on counter for 5 minutes, then right side up, until you hear the lids ping (pop?). Cool. Store in pantry or fridge - I happen to like my pickles chilled.
The only downside I see to making pickles is the smell.
The upside is that now I have several jars of them to eat on my sammies!