I remember that my father didn't trust anyone else to make his "cornichons," or gherkins. He followed each step in the process with great concentration, knowing that any mistake would produce soft (and therefore ruined) gherkins. These gherkins are ready to eat after two weeks and remain crunchy for several months. But I like to eat them between two weeks and one month after they are made, when they still retain some of their cucumber flavor. Try to choose tiny pickling cucumbers that are nearly identical in size.
Prepare the cucumbers: trim both ends and wash several times, rubbing them vigorously in a large bowl of ice water. Drain, sprinkle with coarse salt and set aside for 3 hours in a coldplace.
Meanwhile, peel the onions and garlic, rinse the tomatoes, wash the thyme and tarragon and measure the pepper. Set these ingredients aside in a cold place along with the jars and the vinegar (it's important that everything be chilled).
Pour half the cold vinegar into a large bowl and combine with the cucumbers to eliminate the excess salt. Drain and discard this vinegar. Half-fill the jars with the cucumbers, add the flavorings except the tomatoes, then the rest of the cucumbers and finally the tomatoes. Cover with the rest of the iced vinegar.