Pickling is a point of pride for me. I preserve almost everything I can get my hands on--not just Kirby cucumbers but also carrots, okra, even Scotch bonnet chiles. I arrange the vegetables with herb sprigs in interesting jars and then let them steep in spiced vinegar. Because I keep my pickles in the refrigerator and eat them within two months, I don't need to sterilize the jars and turn my kitchen into a sauna on a hot summer day. All I do is put the pickles in the fridge and then I proudly give them away. Most of them go to my boyfriend, a finicky eater who prefers my pickle sandwiches to just about anything. With him as my inspiration, I have come to use my pickles as ingredients in all kinds of dishes, from an Asian-American hot-and-sour soup to a spicy chicken sauté.
These recipes fall into two categories: recipes for making pickles and recipes made with pickles. All of the pickles can be refrigerated for up to two months.