A very dear friend called me up the other day and offered me cucumbers from her garden. I had thought that after the fig canning episode, I'd not be canning anything else anytime soon. However, I couldn't turn down those cukes!
Three days and sixteen pints later I'm a happy camper. I think I've shared the recipe before but I've sped up one or two things along the way.
You will need:
4 gallons or 50 thinly sliced cucumbers
2 packages of canning lime
1 gallon apple cider vinegar
8 lbs. sugar
4 Tablespoons salt (no iodine)
4 Tablespoons pickling spices
1 bag of ice
- Mix lime with 2 gallons of water in a very large cooking pot. After lime is dissolved add sliced cucumbers. At this point, I place several plates on top of the cucumbers to weigh them down, then cover with the top of the pot or a clean dish towel. Let stand for 24 hours.
- Rinse lime mixture from cucumbers until water is clear. I use to rinse them in my kitchen sink but this took forever. Now, I set up a portable table outside, using the water hose and several big colanders, the rinsing takes only a few minutes with little fuss.
- Next, pour ice over cucumbers which cools the lime process even more. This will take about 3 hours.
- During that time mix sugar and vinegar in a pot. To add the pickling spices cut an eight inch square of cheese cloth, pour the spices into the middle and secure with a twisty or rubber band. Place into sugar/vinegar mix. Stir the mixture often until sugar is dissolved.
- After three hours are up, rinse ice from cucumbers and add the sugar/vinegar/spices to the cucumbers. Weigh them down and cover. Let stand for 12 to 15 hours.
- Now it's time for the canning process. I do the hot bath method but you can do whatever you choose.
- I know this is a lot but it's worth all the effort. BTW, you can always cut the recipe in half!! Experiment by adding different spices.