I've already mentioned that I have been a horrible urban farmer this summer. Really, this is the worst I have ever treated the garden - I vow next year to not be such an asshole and take some time with the garden. There is a bigger conversation lurking here about mindfullness and slowing down and enjoying life and not always being on the go - that is something I will have to tackle in the winter, when I'm dreaming of having my garden and smacking my forehead over and over again about the fact that I had a backyard full of herbs that I completely ignored for three months.
I know this scenario will play itself out more than once, most likely all winter.
I did however have one great afternoon where I was home to enjoy the cucumber porn that was playing out in the back yard. I decided to play with the cucumber and see what different combinations I could make for cucumber pickles. I took a basic brine recipe which was about 4 cups of white vinegar and 3/4 of sugar. I combined the two and boiled over medium heat just until the sigar dissolved - with the brine ready I began to think about different combinations to put in the jars, trying to utilize my fresh herbs.
Jar 1: Lemon Thyme, Sage, Peppercorn, Mustard Seeds
Jar 2: Rosemary Tarragon, Lemon, Peppercorn Mustard Seeds
Jar 3" Dill, Peppercorn, Pickling Spices
Jar 4: Cinnamon Stick, Star Anise, Allspice Berries and Clove
I filled the jars with quartered cucumbers and then the fillings, poured the hot brine over the cucumber to the top of the jar, sealed then and stuck em in the fridge and basically forgot about them unti a couple weeks ago when I tried Jar #3 and you know what. THEY WERE AWESOME.
I haven't tried the other jars, but I do plan on trying them soon - so stay tuned.
If you have a favorite refrigerator pickle recipe, please share it - cucumber, asparagus, beans, what ya got?