1 pound carrots, cut into 3 1/2- by 1/3-inch sticks
1 1/4 cups water
1 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
2 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
1 1/2 tablespoons dill seeds
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
Blanch carrots in a 4-quart nonreactive saucepan of boiling salted water 1 minute, then drain in a colander and rinse under cold water to stop cooking. Transfer carrots to a heatproof bowl. Bring remaining ingredients to a boil in saucepan, then reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes. Pour pickling liquid over carrots and cool, uncovered. Chill carrots, covered, at least 1 day for flavors to develop.