The directions below are for refrigerator pickles. If, like me, you're obsessed with canning, just go ahead and process the jars when you're done with the brine and it'll make lovely pickles you can put on your shelf.
And then your husband can think you are as crazy as me, because it looks like I'm stocking up for the Apocalypse. (or possibly a world-changing event like in "The Road.")
Adapted from Cheap Healthy Good
½ lb string beans, trimmed (or as much will fit in a medium-sized jar)
1 c white vinegar (I used cider vinegar, it's my go-to pickling medium)
1 c water
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 t yellow mustard seeds
½ t whole peppercorns
2 t sugar
½ t salt
1 bay leaf
dash red pepper flakes
3 sprigs fresh dill
Place string beans upright in a 32-ounce glass jar. Trim any ends that reach the top of the jar. Add in dill sprigs.
Combine all other ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl (or large measuring cup). Microwave for 90 seconds. Stir. Microwave for another 90 seconds.
Pour mixture into jar, leaving ½ inch of space at the top. After you pour in the brine, if the jar's not full, add water and vinegar until it is. Screw on the lid.
Let cool to room temperature. Shake to distribute seeds and spices. Refrigerate.
Pickles are ready after four days, and will last a month in the fridge.