By Mommy’s a Good Cooker
It’s that time of year when my family starts craving cucumbers, so I thought it appropriate to dig out some of our favorite uses for this delicious veggie. Next week, I’ll share the recipe for “Mom’s Cukes,” an easy to fix recipe I received from a neighbor years ago. After that, I’ll have recipes for dill pickles and bread & butter pickles.
Today, we’re talking about my great-grandmother’s sweet pickles. I have no idea how old this recipe is, but since she was born in 1883, I gather it’s well over 100 years old. My grandmother learned the art of pickle making from great-grandma, and then passed it down to my aunt and uncle, who continue the tradition today.
A word of warning: you can’t just wake up one morning and decide you want pickles with your supper that evening. This process takes several days.
So here we go!
2 gallons of water
1 cup of salt (enough salt in solution to bring an egg off bottom of crock and float)
Cover the cucumbers with the brine solution in a large crock. Cover and let stand for 9 days.
On the 10th day, split the cucumbers lengthwise. Cover with boiling water and let stand 24 hours.
On the 11th day, drain the cucumbers, then cover them with boiling water and 1 teaspoon of alum per gallon of water used. Let stand 24 hours.
On the 12th day, drain the pickles and thoroughly rinse them with cold water to ensure all alum residue has been removed.
6 cups of white sugar
3 cups white vinegar
2 cups water
1 oz. stick cinnamon
1 oz. whole allspice
Wrap the cinnamon and allspice in cheesecloth, and boil for awhile in the mixture of sugar, water and vinegar. Cover the rinsed pickles with this syrup. Let stand for 24 hours.
On the 13th, 14th and 15th days, drain the syrup, but reserve it. Boil the syrup with the cloth full of spices, plus 2 more cups of sugar.
On the 16th day, drain the syrup and bring it to a boil. While waiting for the syrup to boil, pack pickles in jars. Hint: pack the pickles so the insides of the cucumbers face inside, away from the light. This improves quality.
Cover the pickles in the jars with the boiling syrup. Seal the tops.
Whenever a new family moved into the neighborhood, or a just-married couple was setting up housekeeping, great-grandma always got them set up right with several jars of her pickles. What’s a home without pickles, right? I knew you would agree. Enjoy!