While making your own pickles might not be as convenient as buying them, it is very simple and you can adjust the flavours to suit you own tastes - not to mention the "WOW factor" of taking out a bottle of your own homemade pickles !
There are many complicated pickling recipes out there - which require days of preparing and waiting, but this only takes about 10 minutes to prepare (just long enough to sterilize your bottles and lids in boiling water) and only 2 days in the fridge
Easy Vegetable Pickle
1 fresh Cucumber sliced into ½ inch batons (the same length as the height of your bottle)
5 or 6 Large Carrots sliced into ½ inch batons (the same length as the height of your bottle)
Slices of fresh Garlic
a few Bay Leaves
Whole fresh chillies (I used this with the carrots)
For the pickle mixture (the amounts can be changed to suit your taste)
2 Cups of Water
1¼ Cup of Vinegar (White wine vinegar works best for me)
¾ cup of Sugar
3 teaspoons of Salt
10 black peppercorns (or more if you lazy to count them)
Place all pickle ingredients the in a sauce pan and bring to a simmer until the sugar has melted.
Leave the liquid to cool - check the taste and adjust to your liking - you might want it slightly sweeter or more tart.
Sterilize your bottles and the lids in a large pot of boiling water for 10 minutes.
Place the vegetables and spices in your hot bottles, cutting them to fit the bottle.
Pour over the cooled pickle liquid and seal the jars.
Place in the fridge for 2 days and then enjoy!
Try experimenting with the flavours, by using sliced onion, green beans, radish or anything that takes your fancy.