Bay leaves come from the evergreen bay laurel tree (Laurus nobilis). This tree grows about 40 to 50 feet tall growing only in zone 7. The leaves are leathery and stiff. Leaves from this tree can be picked at any time, but the most potent are the larger, mature leaves. The leaves are either dried and crushed or sold whole.
Several articles suggested growing the tree as an ornamental or container project and keeping it pruned since it is a slower grower. Of course, the tree does blossom and in spring small yellow flowers bloom and then turn into purple berries. This knowledge prevented any idea of trying to grow this tree in a container since we have no greenhouse.
According to Wikipedia there are several different bay leaves:
Here is a pickle recipe similar to mine. I do not cook the spices with the brine. I add them to the bottom of the jar then put the pickles on top adding the hot brine last before sealing the jars.
Kosher Dill Pickles
1 clove garlic Brine:
1 bay leaf • 3 cups white vinegar
1 head of dill • 3 cups water
1 teaspoon mustard seed • 6 teaspoons salt
Pack pickles vertically in pint jars
Boil vinegar, water, salt and spices for 5 minutes. Pour over pickles ½ inch from top, place a bunch of dill on top and seal. Ready in 4 weeks. Try them. They are good!