This post is late. But I made pickles. I learned this method/recipe from a fabulous woman that lives in our antique town who knows how to do all sorts of stuff that my great grandmother would have done on a daily basis (i.e. milk cows, use every single part of a chicken, make butter, make cheese, basically homestead the crap out of everything) and loves to teach younger women how to do it all.
*Please Note: This is hit and miss, so, as with most how-tos on the internet, please use good judgement...if the pickles smell or taste weird-DO NOT EAT THEM.
grape leaves (whatever it is that makes pickles crunchy occurs naturally in the grape leaf)
2 quarts of purified water
bunch of fresh dill
1/4 C pickling salt
4-5 whole garlic cloves, peeled
1. Pour in purified water and mix in the pickling salt (regular salt makes the pickles mushy...ew)
2. Line the bottom of a large jar with grape leaves (wash the leaves first)
3. Cut the ends (just the tips) off of the cucumbers and put them in the brine (doing this first helps hold the grape leaves down because they like to float up)
4. Peel and gently mash garlic cloves and add them to the brine
5. Chop the ends of the stems off of the dill and break the stems in several places, releasing the fragrance. Chop a little, then add the chopped dill and the bunch with broken stems to the brine
6. Make sure the future-pickles are covered by the brine (use a bowl or something weighted if needed to keep them submerged) and cover top of container with cheesecloth or thin dish towel and leave them out on the counter, out of the sun for at least three days (naturally extremes in temperature are not good for this process)
7. There will be "scum" that grows on top of the brine...scoop it out each day
8. On the third day, if you prefer a more cucumbery flavored pickle, after you scoop off the "scum," your pickles are ready. You can slice them or leave them whole. If you prefer a more pickle flavored pickle, just leave them in the brine for a couple more days. (I do five days total but then the "scum" starts to really sick me out and I can't take it any longer).
Comment below with any questions or let me know how yours turn out!