All you need is:
Cucumber spears, I use either 1 English cucumber or about 6 pickling cucs.
2 cups cold water.
1/3 cup white wine vinegar - you can change this to suit your taste, but I wouldn't use balsamic. believe it or not, the cheaper vinegars give me the best pickling flavor.
1 tablespoon salt. Table salt or sea salt. I've never tried pickling salt.
2 teaspoons sugar.
5 whole peppercorns - fresh.
fresh ground pepper (from a grinder is best).
1-2 cloves garlic.
optional flavor additions: fresh dill, jalapeno pepper, onion, habanero pepper, etc.
and a container to put them in. A mason type jar works best, but I usually take the easy route and use a ziplock freezer bag. Don't use a metal container.
Step 1: Sizing the cucumbers
For this batch I'm using an English cucumber. That's what they're called here, anyway. I prefer these over regular garden variety cucumbers because they're longer, and they're generally a bit more crisp.
I usually cut the cucumber into thirds.
First, though, cut off the ends. These are typically bitter. You might want to slice a bit off the end you plan to use and taste to make sure you've removed all of the bitterness.
Step 2: Slicing the cucumbers
Half the round, then half that, then half once again
Step 3: The garlic..
The easiest way to do this is to cut off the ends and then smack the clove with the flat of your knife blade. A french chef knife works best because there's so much flat area.
The peel will usually fall right off just like in the picture.
Then you want to cut the clove up into about 8 pieces. Personally i use 2 cloves