Homemade Sweet Pickles

Copyright.2013.Jim Long

Some years I can't grow cucumbers. Between cucumber beetles, cucumber virus and squash bugs, it's virtually impossible to get a crop. But this year, for whatever reasons, my cucumbers have thrived. Possibly the last 2 years of horrible drought killed off the larvae of the pests, but for whatever reason, my cucumbers are producing a continuous supply. With only 2 vines, I can accumulate enough for eating plus making pickles. So I dug out "Mama's Sweet Pickle" recipe. "Mama," in this instance, refers to my Grandmother Harper.

I only make sweet pickles about every 3 or 4 years and make enough to last. Friends have always complimented me on my potato salad, my deviled eggs and my tuna salad. My secret ingredient is my grandma's sweet pickles. So here's the recipe and the method, in case you want to make your own.
To keep pickles crisper, don't cut off the blossom end.

Cucumbers in pan, pour boiling water every day for 4 days.
On the fifth day, drain and rinse the cucumbers, then cut into slices or pieces. Bring the sugar, spices and vinegar to a boil and pour over the cut-up cucumbers. Weight down to hold the cucumbers in the liquid, cover and leave for 2 or 3 days.
Sliced and ready for the liquid.
Sterilize the jars.
Fill the jar with the pickles, then pour in the hot liquid.
To keep pickles crisp (besides not removing the blossom end), I add 1/4 teaspoon Pickle Crisp before putting on the lid.
And the finished product, Mama's Sweet Pickles. These will safely keep for 3-4 years in the pantry.
And there is enough perfect pickles to make all of my favorite dishes. Yes, it's a lot of sugar - they are, after all, sweet pickles. But you only use a small amount in potato salad, deviled eggs and tuna salad. And no other pickle will work as well!

Best gardening to you!


Ellen said...

It's that time of year. I made one batch yesterday and this morning tried a new recipe for curry/dill pickles. Next time I'll try Mama's!

erdaite said...

Loved your recipe. I like the old time ones as they are simple, work and taste great.We need more old time real recipes. My family raised and canned almost everything we ate year round. Have my moms old cookbook and it brings me lots of memories. Thanks for sharing and happy to have stumbled across your site.