Thursday, June 23, 2011

Grandma's Million Dollar Pickles

I have been painting my living room this morning and the only good thing I have to say about painting, is that when I paint I have lots of time to think. This morning I thought a lot about my Grandma. She was born 132 years ago tomorrow. That is crazy to think of. I loved her so much and spent a lot of time with her when I was growing up. Thankfully we always lived close to her and in her later years she came to live with us for awhile. But the thing I remember most about her is going to her house as a child. When I stayed with her she would fix us a “little lunch” as she called it. Sometimes it wasn’t even lunchtime but it didn’t matter to me. She could make a meal out of almost nothing and it seemed like a feast to me.

One of the most valuable recipes I have of hers is her sweet pickle recipe. I love these pickles so much that to this day I cannot eat one without thinking about her. These pickles take a long time to make but they are oh so worth the effort. They are made in an old fashioned crock, I have used wide mouth gallon jars and they work fine. These pickles involved quite a process but are worth every second that it takes to make them.

I would like to share her recipe with you today because she is on my mind. I have to make these pickles this summer if I don’t do anything else. I hope you’ll try them too.

About 50 small sized cucumbers, washed good. (No bigger than about 1-1 ½” in diameter –leave the tiny cucumbers about the size of my index finger whole)
Make a brine of water and salt that is strong enough to float an egg. Just keep stirring the salt until an egg will float in the mixture.
Pour over cucumbers in large non metal container. Let stand 2 weeks with a cloth over top and a weight holding cloth cover in place. Check periodically to make sure cloth isn’t getting musty. Change the cloth if needed. After 2 weeks, wash cucumbers well and cut into 1” slices. Make a solution of 1 T. powdered alum and water to cover. Let cucumbers remain in this for 2 days. Wash again, and let drain till dry. Make syrup of:
1 quart vinegar
2 qt. sugar
2 blades of mace or ½ t. ground mace
2 sticks cinnamon
1 T. whole cloves
Bring to a boil and pour over cucumbers 3 mornings in succession. On the 4th morning put in sterilized jars and pour hot liquid over and seal. Note: Use the same syrup each day; just bring to a boil each day.

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