Trim ends off beans (or woody ends off the asparagus). Combine salt, sugar, vinegar and water in a large saucepot. Bring to a boil.
To each jar add 1/4 teaspoon Pickle Crisp, 1 or 2 dried chilies, 1-2 cloves of garlic, quarted, and 12-15 leaves of basil. Pack beans lengthwise into the jars, leaving 1/4 in. headspace. Ladle hot brine over the beans, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Run a clean knife around the inside of the jar to loosen any air bubbles and readjust the headspace.
Wipe the rim and loosely apply 2 piece lids (the ones with the screw band and the flat part that you put in hot water ahead of time to soften the sealing compound). Process 10 minutes in a boiling water canner.
Let stand at least 2 weeks for the flavours to mellow and blend. The brine that's leftover after you eat the vegetables is nice in salad dressings and stir fries.