Interesting. I'd heard of using grape leaves, but not of using the others. We have an abundance of oaks around here.
From the Cooperative Extension link I posted earlier.
At some point, people noticed that if they placed grape leaves in the crock or brine during fermentation, cucumbers were less likely to soften. Researchers later discovered that grape leaves contain varying amounts of a natural inhibitor that reduces the effect of a softening enzyme found on moldy cucumber blossoms. If you use fresh cucumbers and remove the blossom, there is no reason to add a grape leaf to your fermentation vessel.
So what can help ensure that you make crisp pickles?
Several tricks will help ensure crisp pickles:
Use freshly picked cucumbers.
Cucumbers begin to deteriorate soon after harvest. And cucumbers are susceptible to chill-injury, so storing them in the refrigerator for more than a day or so can result in poor quality pickles.
Carefully clean cucumbers prior to pickling.
Whether making genuine dills in a crock or quick-process pickles, carefully wash cucumbers in clean water, making sure to remove soil that may cling to area around the stem or blossom.
Remove a thin slice (1/16″) from the blossom end of each cucumber prior to pickling.
Enzymes which cause softening are concentrated in the blossom end.
Consider a commercial crisping agent (calcium chloride).
Commercial products, such as Pickle Crisp, which are designed to help cucumbers retain crispness are readily available. Use as directed.
The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later you're hungry again. ~ George Miller
Can you tell us how much vinegar is used along with the salt & dill?
Okay, Daizymae, the completed recipe is up! If anything about it is confusing, feel free to ask questions in that recipe thread. I'll answer them if I can, or maybe someone else with more pickling experience can explain things.
"Cooking is the art of adjustment." ~~~Jacques Pépin
“A party without cake is just a meeting.” ~Julia Child
"A dream is a festival of lights within your mind." ~~~ Joan Walsh Anglund