I have been on SMF for a few years now, but haven’t posted much. I’ve read a lot though over the years though and have learned more than I can explain from so many of you. This one isn’t off the smoker, but it’s what I happened to be doing this weekend and thought I would share… Every year I pick up a 25lb bag of pickling cucumbers at my little neighborhood produce market. I do both quartered spears and chips. I started by slicing both ends off cucumbers and soaked in ice water for a few hours. My brine is four cups of water, four cups of distilled white vinegar, and ½ cup of pickling salt. To each jar I add ¼ tsp of Alum, ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes, ¼ tsp of dill seeds, a couple cloves of garlic, and ½ - 1 habanero. For the spears, I halve them and lightly scrape out the seeds and goop. Then cut into quarters. I do chips about ¼ inch thick on the mandolin. Jars stuffed, brined, and topped off with a grape leaf. Short story of that… I like my pickles crunchy. Soaking the cucumbers in ice water and the addition of Alum and/or grape leaves are ways that people have come up with over time that they claim helps to keep pickles crunchy. Tried all three this time, we’ll see. I loaded them into the hot water bath, brought it back to a boil, and processed for 10 minutes. So, another hobby of mine is gardening, especially hot peppers. A few Carolina Reapers started indoors from seed in March (In Oregon) have loved the crazy hot summer we have been having here and a I added a pepper to a couple jars. Can’t say I’d recommend doing for everyday use. They’re more of a novelty that usually don’t come out until everyone has drank too much. A couple stories that still make me chuckle. 25lb sack of cucumbers yielded three dozen jars. Thanks for looking.