OK, so I was a health-food nut in a former life, and I'm taking it up again.
I've been reading about the benefits of fermented foods of all kinds - on beyond yogurt to buttermilk, kefir, and now homemade pickles.
Last week I went on eBay and bought a kimchi/pickle-maker. And it actually WORKS! As soon as it arrived, I stuffed it with ten big fat cornichons, some salt, buttermilk whey, water, garlic and other seasonings. No vinegar and no canning jars. Just let it sit on the counter until this afternoon, when I noticed that the fermentation process had forced some of the brine into the airlock.
So I opened the jar and had a taste. Almost exactly like Claussen's garlic dills - my favorite - just a little milder and not so crisp.
I've used up all the whey I had in the house - Now I'll have to make some more crème fraiche before I can make some pickles that don't taste like garlic dills.
Edited to add: Drat. Mods, could you move this to "Friends," please?