These are my spicy refrigerator pickles, and I pray the last of my cucumbers for this season.
2 1/2 pounds cucumbers
1 1/2 cups water
2 1/2 cups rice vinegar
1 cup raw sugar
1 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
20 fresh Thai chile peppers, halved lengthwise
5 or more cloves garlic, smashed
5 or more stalks lemongrass, peeled, trimmed.
Thoroughly scrub cucumbers. Cut cucumbers lengthwise into spears.
In a 4- to 5-quart stainless-steel, enamel, or nonstick heavy pot combine the water, rice vinegar, sugar, white vinegar, and salt. Bring mixture to boiling, stirring to dissolve sugar.
Pack cucumber spears loosely into five hot sterilized pint canning jars, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace. Add 4 Thai chile halves, 1 clove garlic, and, if desired, one-fifth of the lemongrass to each jar.
Pour hot vinegar mixture over cucumber mixture, maintaining the 1/2-inch headspace.
Cool for 30 minutes; seal and label.
Chill for at least 1 week before serving.
Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.