Okay, so I was asked - first, if I would be interested in opening up a Q&A forum, and I would, but I don't really know how to go about doing that without making it just as confusing and, ultimately, cumbersome as all of the others.
I thought, as an alternative, if there are specific questions, perhaps, just doing a post about it - that would be spidered and eventually would end up in searches and with the opportunity of having people comment on their solutions - might work in the short term. I could label all of them "Q&A", and, at some point, when there are enough questions, I could put Q&A menu in the side bar.
The second part of the request was to answer a specific question about pickles, and the problem is (and I've had this problem, too - by the way ;) that I've canned these beautiful pickles, careful to following the guidelines regarding fresh PICKLING cucumbers, exact measurements for brining solutions, etc. At first, the pickles are wonderful and crispy, but after a few months in the jar, they turn to mush. They're still safe to eat. They're just not very ... palatable.
The first part of the dilemma is the question of whether or not this is normal, and if there is a way to avoid it.
The second part of the dilemma is the question of what to do with all of those mushy pickles.
For the first part, my personal suggestion is to dispense with the canning altogether and instead do lacto-fermentation. It will result in much crisper pickles to begin with, as the process of fermenting the vegetables makes them crispier anyway. I would recommend the books: Preserving Food without Freezing or Canning: Traditional Techniques Using Salt, Oil, Sugar, Alcohol, Vinegar, Drying, Cold Storage, and Lactic Fermentation and/or Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods.
The process requires a couple of weeks. The lacto-fermentation process is slowed with cold, and so the "finished" product should be stored, long-term, in a cold place, like a refrigerator or a root cellar, which might seem to reduce the long-storage option afforded by canning ... BUT, lacto-fermented vegetables are edible for MONTHS after they are ready to eat.
Plus, it's a live food, which makes it much healthier for us, overall, than canned pickles anyway.
As for using those mushy pickles, as long as they were properly canned and aren't contaminated but just mushy, I'd recommend adding them to some other recipe. Potato salad or egg salad comes to mind. One might also chop them up and turn them into a kind of relish.
For me, unless I suspect that it might poison my family, I'm loath to throw out a failed canning experiment, and I'll find another way to use it. Like "runny" strawberry jam is used as a sauce for drizzling over ice cream or pancakes or for adding to smoothies and/or yogurt. I won't simply throw it away.
For mushy pickles, what other recommendations/solutions do you folks have?