Nika's Old-World Brined Dill Pickles
Scrub/wash pickles. Cut the tips off. Soak in cold water for 6-10 hours (this will help them stay very crunchy). Put sprigs of dill (preferably with blossoms and seeds) and 1-2 sprigs of parsley on the bottom of each sterile mason jar. Pack cucumbers in jars tightly (1 quart jar will fit 8-12 little pickles). To each jar add any (or all) of the following:
?-1 tsp pickling spice (spices that can be added: mustard seeds, peppercorns, bay leaves, dill seeds, caraway seeds)
1-3 cloves of garlic, sliced in half lengthwise
1-3 small hot red peppers (dried OK)
Cover the top of pickles with a large piece of horseradish leaf and a couple-few of grape, cherry or currant leaves. Make sure the cukes are thoroughly covered.
1 cup pickling salt (pickling salt contains no iodine, and iodine causes pickles to turn brown) to 4 quarts boiling water. Let cool completely. Pour brine over pickles to the very top of the jar. Seal jars (not too tight) with sterile lids and rings and seal. DO NOT STERILIZE! Put in a cool(ish) dry(ish) place, on a tray, to catch the brine that will overflow when the cukes start fermenting. Check the jars daily and replenish the brine.
In about 7-10 days, when the fermentation is completed, open the jars, sterilize the lids, pour the brine to the top again and seal. DO NOT STERILIZE YOUR PICKLES! Store in a cool place.
Rusty lids, cloudy brine, slight white sediment on the pickles are OK. Check the jars from time to time and replenish the brine as needed. If the pickles are not covered with brine, they will spoil and you will have lost all your work (and a delicious treat).