Makes about 2 pints
Adapted from "Preserve It!" edited by Lynda Brown (Dorling Kindersley, $25, 352 pages).
This recipe for simple sweet cucumber slices can be multiplied as needed and can use full-size cucumbers. The pickles are soft, not crunchy, and excellent with sandwiches, burgers or barbecue.
1 large cucumber, sliced evenly, about 1/8-inch thick
1 large white onion, peeled and finely sliced
1 small green pepper, finely sliced
1 teaspoon pickling salt
1 1/4 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon light-brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon mustard seed
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon dill
Combine cucumber, onion, bell pepper and salt in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Cover the bowl and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours.
Rinse the vegetables under cold water. Drain and transfer vegetables to a large, heavy-bottomed, nonreactive or stainless steel pan. Add vinegar and bring to boil. Turn off heat.
Add the remaining ingredients and stir to dissolve brown sugar. Let cool for a few minutes. Ladle into hot, sterilized Mason jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Cover with two-part lids, screwing on rings until just tight.
Process in a boiling hot- water bath for 10 minutes. Carefully remove from water and let cool on cloth towels. After 24 hours, check seals. Store in cool, dark place.
Let flavors mellow at least 1 month. Refrigerate after opening.