Large deep baking dish (glass or stainless steel, please)
Plastic wrap or clean dish towel
12-cup stainless steel stock pot (any will do, just NOT aluminum)
Metal spoon (not aluminum)
Three 1-quart glass wide mouth canning jars with canning lids and rings
Hot water bath canner or giant stock pot with lid
Prepping - Done over 2 days
2 pounds baby cucumbers, or starter cukes if you are lucky to find them
1 cup fine grain Kosher salt, or fine grain sea salt
Wash and thoroughly dry cucumbers; slice off the blossom end of each cuke (a very small thin slice), or both ends if you cannot tell which is the blossom end (there are enzymes present on the blossom end that will ruin the pickles).
In the Morning
Lay cucumbers in a single layer in bottom of large baking dish; sprinkle 1/2 cup sea salt evenly over cucumbers; cover dish with plastic wrap or clean dish towel; set in an out of the way place for 12 hours or overnight (you may refrigerate).
Pour cucumbers into a colander and rinse very well; rinse and dry baking dish; place rinsed cucumbers in a single layer in the bottom of the dish; sprinkle 1/2 cup sea salt evenly over cucumbers; cover dish with plastic wrap or clean dish towel; set in an out of the way place for 12 hours or overnight (you may refrigerate).
2 cups white wine vinegar
2 cups pure cane sugar
2 cups fresh water
3 sprigs fresh tarragon
3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
3 small sweet onions, peeled and thinly sliced
- Fill water bath canner with water (use according to manufacturer's directions) and set over medium-high heat.
- Meanwhile, combine all brine ingredients in large saucepan; stir to dissolve sugar; place pan over medium-high heat and bring mixture to a boil; boil 5 minutes; remove from heat.
- Sterilize canning jars and lids: Immerse jars and lids in boiling water for 5 minutes or just run them through a quick wash cycle - without soap - in your dishwasher.
- Pour cucumbers into colander to drain off liquid, do not rinse; place cucumbers into sterilized jars, splitting them evenly between the three 1-quart jars.
- Carefully scoop hot brine into jars, splitting evenly between jars - be sure to leave 1/2" of headspace. Discard any extra brine (try to include all the garlic and onion slices though).
- With a clean dry towel, wipe rim of each jar to dry; place canning lids on jars; place jars into prepared water bath canner; place lid on canner, sealing it tightly and boil for 10 minutes.
- Carefully remove jars from canner to cloth-covered counter; place rings on jars; cool jars completely prior to storage at room temperature.
Servings: 3 quarts
Prep: 2 days
Curing: 3 weeks