A little story about this recipe. As most of you know, I taught fourth grade for many years in the town that I graduated high school. One day I was on my teacher's conference time when our school nurse, Ruth, came in with a jar of pickles and an assortment of crackers. She offered some to me and as you know, teachers will eat at any opportunity...... hehehehehe
The pickles were absolutely delicious and so crisp I wanted to eat the whole jar. The next week I got up the nerve to ask Ruth for the recipe. She smiled and said, "Rather than giving you the recipe, I'll should you how to make them." I was so excited about that because I'm the kind of person who needs to see it and do it to learn it....... LOL
We made a date for early summer.
I gathered Mason jars, lids and a couple large spoons with no real idea of what else I'd need and met up with Ruth. She was so generous to give me the necessary cucumbers and great step by step instructions.
It's a good idea to read up on "cold canning" which is not really cold. Here's a link. I will place another link below so that you can compare and get ideas of what you'd rather do.
So without further delay, here's the recipe.
- 2 gallons of thinly sliced cucumbers (20 to 36 cumbers depending on the size)
- 2 cups lime (I use Ball Pickling Lime... this is just to give you an idea of what to look for)
- 1/2 gallon Apple Cider Vinegar
- 4 lbs. sugar
- 1 Tablespoons salt (no iodine)
- 2 Tablespoons pickling spices (I use McCormick Mixed Pickling Spice..... just to give you an idea of what to look for in the spice section at the grocery store)
- 2 bags of ice (you may only need one bag but it's best to be prepared)
- 1 six inch square of cheese cloth and a twist tie or string
- Canning pots and utensils
- Mason Jars (I used pint and quart jars)
- In a huge metal container, mix lime and 1 gallon of water. Stir until lime is completely dissolved. Carefully add sliced cucumbers and let stand for 24 hours. Yes, that's 24 hours. I have found that the cucumbers tend to float so I place several old dinner plates on top of the whole thing and then place a loose cloth over that. There is no need to stir during this procedure.
- After the 24 hours are up, rinse cucumbers 6 to 8 times or until water is clear. Be careful with the cucumbers to allow little breakage.
- Layer rinsed and drained cucumbers with ice in metal container and cover with loose cloth. The ice is now cooling and stopping whatever the lime did.
- While the cucumber and ice is sitting, mix 1/2 gallon vinegar, 4 lbs. sugar, 2 TLBS. salt and 2 TLBS pickling spice which you will wrap in that six inch square cheese cloth and tie closed with twist tie or string. Stir every few minutes or until sugar dissolves.
- Drain ice and water from cucumbers and pour the sugar solution over the cucumbers. Let set for 12 hours or more. More is better, in other words.
- Now, the real fun begins. Place the cucumber/sugar mixture on burner and cook for 35 minutes (bring to a boil and lower hear).
- While boiling cucumbers, prepare water bath for jars. (See cold canning instructions online)
- Spoon cucumbers with brine (sugar mixture) into hot jars, seal and place into water bath for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Remove and allow to cool. Don't be alarmed when lips make a popping sound. This is a good thing.
I know this seems like a lot of work but you will not regret it if you're a fan of sweet pickles.
Enjoy immediately, share with family and friends or store in a cool area until you're ready.