Garden cucumbers grown out on the balcony. They didn't taste that great raw but they taste fantastic now.  Pickling various vegetables is turning out to be one of my favorite things, onions, garlic, fennel, carrots, sturdy vegetables like that. These are the quick process type of pickles, relish if you prefer, not the fermented type. 

Here is what I learned by making a few batches: 

*  Sugar and vinegar are heated then poured over cut vegetables.

*  Mix sugar and vinegar then top off the jar with water. 

*  To a point, the more vinegar and sugar, the better. So one cup each is better than 1/4 cup each but that's about as far as you'll want to go. This batch is not intense so I probably mixed in moderation. I suppose it can always be intensified. 

* Quart is a very good size. This is pint size.

*  Go as far as you like clearing out the spice cabinet but some things are standout spices for this sort of thing. 

*  Bay leaf adds body and depth as well as flavor. I use it a lot. With salt, it changes water into soup.  <--- possible 100% exaggeration for dramatic effect. 

* When it comes to seed spices it is very hard to go wrong if not impossible. Fennel, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, clove buds, black pepper, all those things go together and more.

* Garlic and fresh ginger are especially effective

*  Rice vinegar is a nice option

* It only takes a few hours refrigerated, but a day is better.   

These pickles are so good they knocked my pants off. 

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