Cold-Pack Refrigerator Dills
2 grape leaves
2 stalks fresh dill wound in small coils
3 peeled garlic cloves
3 tsp pickling salt
2 tsp mustard seed
15 whole black peppercorns
1 dried red chile pepper
1/4 tsp alum
1/4 fresh jalapeno pepper, sliced
1 slice red bell pepper (or more to taste)
1/4 white onion, sliced
5 medium pickling cucumbers, blossom end removed
2 to 3 small pickling cucumbers, blossom end removed
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (5% acidity)
Put 1 grape leaf in jar. Add 1 coil dill, garlic, pickling salt, mustard seed, peppercorns, chile pepper and alum. Arrange the medium cucumbers vertically in the jar, holding them against the side. Fill in the jar with the small cucumbers.
Slip the jalapeno slices, red bell pepper slices and onion slices between the glass and cucumbers so they make a pretty design. Add the vinegar and fill the jar with tap water to within 1/2-inch of the top. Top with remaining dill coil. Cover with the remaining grape leaf to help hold everything down and maintain crispness. Screw on lid and shake well to dissolve the salt and alum.
Store in refrigerator for at least a month before eating. (It will last up to 6 months in the refrigerator.)
Makes one quart.