|7 pounds||Small cucumbers (1-1/2 to 3 inches long)|
|½ cup||Pure granulated salt|
|4 eaches||Sticks cinnamon|
|2 teaspoons||Celery seed|
|2 teaspoons||Mixed pickling spice|
|½ teaspoon||Fennel; if desired|
These crisp, sweet pickles take a little bit of attention twice a day for 4 days, but they are well worth the effort. The recipe makes seven to eight 1 pint jars. You'll need a vegetable brush, a large mixing bowl or clean dish pan, a fork, and a small saucepan in addition to the basic equipment.
1. DAY 1, MORNING: Wash cucumbers thoroughly, scrubbing with a brush.
Be sure to remove any blossoms left on the ends, but leave a tiny bit of stem in place.
2. Drain, then put in a large mixing bowl or other container and cover with boiling water.
3. DAY 1, AFTERNOON: (or 6 to 8 hours later); Drain the cucumbers well. Cover them with fresh boiling water.
4. DAY 2, MORNING: Drain the cucumbers. Cover them with fresh boiling water.
5. DAY 2, AFTERNOON: Drain the cucumbers. Add salt and cover them with fresh boiling water.
6. DAY 3, MORNING: Drain the cucumbers and poke each cucumber in several places with a fork.
7. In a saucepan, combine 3 cups of the sugar, 3 cups of the vinegar, the whole spices, turmeric, and fennel. Heat to boiling and pour over the cucumbers. They will be only partially covered.
8. DAY 3, AFTERNOON: Drain the cucumbers and save they syrup. Combine the syrup with 2 cups of the vinegar and 2 cups of the sugar in the saucepan. Heat to boiling and pour it over the cucumbers.
9. DAY 4, MORNING: Drain and save syrup. Heat syrup with 2 cups of the sugar and 1 cup of the vinegar to boiling. Pour over cucumbers (now pickles).
10. DAY 4, AFTERNOON: Organize and prepare the work space. Drain and save syrup.
11. Combine syrup with the remaining 1 cups sugar and vanilla. Heat to boiling.
12. Pack pickles into hot jars and pour in the syrup to within ¼ inch of tops. Run a slim, non metal tool down along the insides of jars to release any air bubbles. Add additional hot liquid, if necessary, to within ¼ inch of tops of jars.
13. Wipe tops and threads of jars with a damp clean cloth.
14. Put on lids and screw bands as manufacturer directs.
15. Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Follow basic steps for boiling water bath canning, 10 through 18.
Source: Vegetable Gardening Encyclopedia Typos by Dorothy Flatman 1995 -- Note: I did try these one year and if you like sweet pickles, (my husband does, I don't but had to admit that for a sweet pickle, they were very good). Actually, it really isn't all that much work either, especially for the end result. The initial scrubbing takes the most time since the smaller the cucumber, the better the pickle.
Don't try to shortcut the steps though, the result won't be nearly the same. Submitted By DOROTHY FLATMAN On 10-10-95
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