1Sort freshly picked cucumbers, discarding any that are shriveled of have blemishes. Wash thoroughly.
Scrub the cucumbers with a brillo pad or kitchen scrub brush, fresh from the garden they have nubs and lots of dirt.
2Drop into cold water and allow to soak for at least one hour.
3To each sterilized quart jar, add 1/8 teaspoon powdered alum, 1 large clove garlic, 2 heads dill, one grape leaf, and one whole small hot red pepper.
4Remove cucumbers from water; wipe dry and pack into sterilized quart sized canning jars with other ingredients.
5In a stainless steel or enamel lined pot, boil together 4 cups good quality white vinegar, one cup canning salt and 3 quarts water.
6Pour over cucumbers while still hot leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rim clean using a damp paper towel. Adjust sterilized caps and rings.
7Process in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes. Let cool at room temperature before storing.
Store for about 4 weeks before eating.
8Note: Alum is used to keep pickles more crisp, but its use is optional since it is not a preservative.