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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Grandma Harper's Sweet Pickles

Ozarks Gardening
Copyright 2013 Jim Long

Grandma Harper's Sweet Pickles

This has been a good cucumber-growing year. I make these pickles every 2 or 3 years, a necessary ingredient in tuna salad, potato salad and deviled eggs. It’s a recipe that’s been in my family at least 4 generations.

8-12 medium-sized cucumbers (about 8 inches long)
Wash cucumbers but don’t cut off the blossom end; if you do it will make the pickles softer.
Don't remove the blossom end, tests prove leaving it on increases crispness.

Place washed cucumbers in a stone jar (or stainless or enamel pan) large enough to hold the cucumbers submerged in water. Bring enough water to cover the cukes, to a boil, and pour that over the cucumbers, covering completely. Put a plate on the cucumbers to weight it down to hold the cucumbers under the water.
Cucumbers, ready for plate to hold them down.

The following day, pour off the water, bring fresh water to boil and cover the cucumbers again, also weighing down to hold them under the water. Repeat this process of drain, rinse and pour boiling water, for 4 successive mornings).
Cut-up cukes, ready for vinegar mixture.

On the 5th day, drain off the water and rinse the cucumbers. Rinse out the container, too. Cut the cucumbers into slices or chunks and put those back into the container. Over that pour the following:

8 cups sugar
4 cups apple cider vinegar
5 tablespoons pickling salt (not table salt)
2 tablespoons mixed pickling spices, available at the grocery store

Bring this mixture to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Pour this boiling mixture over the cut-up cucumbers in the container, replace the plate to hold the pickles down in the mixture. Leave this for 2 to 4 days before you can them. Process in a boiling water bath. (Consult the Ball Blue Book for processing times based on size of jars you’re using).

Visit my garden blog, as well, for more stories and recipes: http://jimlongsgarden.blogspot.com
The finished sweet pickles, ready for the pantry. They'll keep 3-4 years easily.

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