Sure, you can make pickles the old fashioned way but I don’t have that kind of patience. Here’s my recipe for “refrigerator pickles” that are ready to eat in 3-4 days:
Step 1: Start a garden and grow cucumbers.
Step 2: Heat three cups of vinegar in a pan with about an eighth of a cup of salt in it. I like either white or cider vinegar. When the salt has dissolved, remove vinegar from heat and set aside.
Step 3: Lightly rinse off* your cukes and slice them (halves or “spears”, your choice). Place them vertically in a large canning jar and add a half-dozen cloves of garlic, a tablespoon of black peppercorns, a few stalks of fresh dill, and a dash of red pepper flakes.
Step 4: Pour vinegar brine over cukes. Place lid on jar tightly and set on counter. After an hour or so, the jar should be cool enough to refrigerate. Stick the jar in the back of the fridge and forget about it. In four days, crack that sucker open and feast on the crispest tastiest pickles you’ve ever eaten!
*Don’t scrub your cucumbers if you intend to pickle them! Just brush off the larger chunks of dirt and debris. The lactic acid that forms on the skin of a straight-from-the garden cucumber accelerates the pickling process. Wash too much of it off and you end up with something that really isn’t pickled enough to earn the name.