There is some mystique around pickling. It’s what your grandmother or great grandmother did. Walking into the kitchen and smelling the vinegar, sugar, and spices, watching in wonder a few weeks later when the pickled vegetables were pulled out of the jar; it was a process that seemed both magical and delightful. I always loved tasting the spring flavors in winter, looking at the perfectly preserved colors. My child brain really didn’t understand the chemical transformation that was taking place but it didn’t need to. Grandma made good food.
Alas, I did not retain the information that she was passing on to me. I’ve had to recreate that child-like wonder through working in professional kitchens and practicing the techniques that I re-learned. There really is nothing mystical about pickling. It just requires time and patience.