Baldwin County, Alabama, where I live, is on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay. Up until recently it was a rural farm community. It's one of the fasting growing counties in the U.S., due in some part to the influx of snowbirds who visit from the upper midwest in the winter and often decide to stay. There are also a lot of folks from the urban Mobile area seeking a less stressful, family friendly environment. I got lucky a few years ago and did the move myself from Mobile to Daphne. I'm within the city limits, yet I have a short walk up the street to a soybean field.
This means I have several wonderful family owned farmers markets within a mile or two of home. Baldwin County fields give up the bounty in the spring, naturally, given it's southern exposure. Early strawberries are the first to show up in the market, followed by early cucumbers and sweet, white corn. That corn is called, depending on the size, silver king or silver queen corn. More on that when it appears, later this month. This recipe is for fresh pickling cucumbers.
My late ex-mother-in-law (she died before she was ex, how do you explain that?) was a Minnesota farmer's daughter, and had one of the most incredible backyard gardens I ever saw. She grew the best darn veggies ever, with healthy doses of her father's dairy farm cow manure. She also schooled me in vegetable preparation, including this wonderful recipe for what she called Refrigerator Pickles.
2 to 3 pounds of pickling cucumbers (regular will work just fine) thinly sliced
1 Vidalea onion (or whatever onion you like, we are flexible here) thinly sliced
1 green pepper, thinly sliced
warm water to cover
salt, as much as you feel necessary
Put all of the above in a large glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, dark place for 24 hours. It will look weird after this, but trust me on this, not going to hurt you.
Later the next day, drain off about three fourths of that water. In a separate bowl, mix 4 cups of white vinegar with about 1 cup of sugar. This is where you get to play with it. Less sugar if you don't care for sweet pickles (I don't) or more if you are crazy about sweet stuff. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Add a handful of pickling spice (jarred from the supermarket) or if you can't or would rather not, try creating your own pickling mix. I go back and forth and have never had a bad mix. Try mustard seed, celery seed, cardomam, turmeric, bay leaf, allspice, cloves, well, you get the drift. I always throw in a dash of dill weed or dill seed, my favorite flavor. Mix the spices into the vinegar sugar mix. Pour over the watery cukes, stir, cover and refrigerate for the duration. After about 5 days, they start tasting very good, and then get better with age. This should last, depending on your cravings for six months. Most excellent on sandwiches, hot dogs, hamburgers or straight up.