Ever since I was knee high to a grasshopper, Iâ€™ve savored the sharp vinegary taste of pickles. Towards the end of each summer season, my Ma would preserve her gardenâ€™s cukes and other excess vegetables to carry our familyâ€™s tastebuds through the cooler months. Enjoying one of these with a meal is like biting into summer long after the solstice has passed. Although we may think of pickles as an American food, they have their origins in ancient times and were perfected and popularized by Jewish immigrants to the United States. Eastern Europeans depended upon them to add flavor to winter meals and no Jewish deli would be one without them. Pickling recipes are as plentiful as bees on a honeysuckle, it seems â€” so Iâ€™m pleased to present to you a really quick, easy, and flavorful recipe thatâ€™s been in my family for generations: Jacobâ€™s Slightly Sweet Quick & Easy PicklesKirby or Persian cucumbers. For these small cukes, you can put them in the jars whole, or cut up larger cucumbers into spears.Optional veggie options: cauliflower, string beans, or carrot spears1 1/2 cups white vinegar2 cups hot water1/2 cup sugar (for and more sour pickles, use 1/3 cup)2 tablespoons sea saltPer each jar: 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh dill 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh or jarred garlic clove 1 tablespoon each pickling spice (Iâ€™m partial to McCormickâ€™s Mixed Pickling Spice; a piquant blend of whole and broken spices, seeds, and herbs. Or you may use a 1/2 teaspoon per jar of mustard seeds.) Directions: Rinse cucumbers and cut into spears if desired. Whisk together the vinegar, hot water, sugar, and salt until dissolved. Place the dill, garlic, and pickling spice in each pickling jar. Place the cucumbers or other veggies in each jar and fill with pickling juice until it reaches the top. Seal the jars and when room temperature, place in fridge. Cut cucumbers will be ready to enjoy in as little as 24 hours; whole cucumbers may take up to a week depending on oneâ€™s taste. The longer they soak, the more favorable they will become. Pickles will keep in fridge for up to 2-3 months. Enjoy with burgers, hotdogs, your favorite sandwich, a hearty Oktoberfest meal, or just by themselves for a snappy snack!