Dinosauria We wrote:dudes - i want to make pickles and start jarring stuff. please provide me with your experiences, ideas, and recipes.
First, pickling is pretty simple in the same way chili is simple (boil vinegar & salt, pour over vegetables, seal cans), so it's satisfying in the sense that you'll tinker and come up with "your" pickled okra or garlic. Ironically, I'd avoid making pickles first, as they require more prep to get them as bright and crunchy as you'd want. Dilly beans are a good choice, if you need a recipe, let me know, but any old one should work.
The actual process isn't difficult, but it's fairly space and organizationally intensive. Minor scalding will be par for the course. Canning has a lot of goofy one-use tools designed for it, but they all make it exponentially easier. You will be looking at a magnet on a stick, wondering what idiot would buy a lid lifter. It's worth it. Because of this, you might want to actually meet up with someone you know who does this often to can the first few times, since you not only learn how, but you don't buy equipment before you know if you like it or not.