Trim both ends from the cucumbers. Soak them in an icewater bath for one hour. Heat the salt, water and vinegar until the salt is dissolved.
Fill the jars with cucumbers, whole, in spears, or in chunks - dividing the spices, dill, garlic, and alum or leaves between the two jars.
Pour the brine over the cucumbers. You may have more than you need. Cover the jars.
Place the jars in a sunny location for three days, turning them every day so all the contents are exposed to the sun. If the weather is overcast, leave the pickles in the sun another day.
Cure the pickles in the refrigerator for ten days and they’ll keep for months in the refrigerator.
Reprinted with permission from Cathy Barrow. Copyright © 2012
Sandor Katz lives to ferment; it’s his life’s work. The author of The Art of Fermentation shares how to make kombucha at home.