You can make delicious pickles without any vinegar. The only thing I used in this recipe that wasn't from the farm is salt. All I did was throw cucumbers, bunches of dill, slightly crushed garlic cloves, and some grape leaves (the tannins in them keep the pickles crisp!), into this food-grade plastic bucket, and cover it up with a salty brine. The ratio I used was about 3 tablespoons of salt to 1 quart of water. You just need enough to fully submerge the cukes. Then you need something to weigh it all down underneath the brine... we used a big ziplock bag filled with water, then a cloth over it to keep the dust out. One week later, tangy pickles! And doing it this way, using actual fermentation instead of vinegar, means there are all sorts of beneficial probiotic organisms in there too, to give you a healthy gut.
We also pickled onions, with spices in them like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, juniper berries, tarragon, & sage. The extra brine that came out of the onions made a really yummy broth-- I mixed it with chicken stock & some tomatoes.
They look so beautiful with the whole spices left in them:
And the pickles, too, with their chunks of garlic & dill:
The fridge is overflowing with fermented products now. I guess I've got a bit of an obsession here going....
... ask me for a free tasting!