Learn how to make sweet pickles the "old-fashioned" way. We guarantee you that the slow way is the best way.
- Put 2 dozen 3–inch cucumbers, freshly picked, in a crock or a jar. A crock can be anything from an unchipped enamel crock to a big glass jar that supermarkets buy their pickles in.
- Cover with a brine of 1/2 cup pickling salt, 1/4 cup vinegar, and 2 quarts water.
- Weight down the cucumbers (a plate with a canning jar full of water on top of it will do nicely), and cover the crock.
- The fermentation of the cucumbers will cause a white, scummy substance to form on top of the brine. Every day for 2 weeks, check on your cucumbers and just skim the scum off if it is present.
- After 2 weeks, drain, cut into chunks, and let them stand for 24 hours in cold water, and then rinse.
- Combine 3 cups vinegar with 6 cups of sugar and 1/2 cup water. Tie 2 tablespoons each whole cloves and mixed pickling spices in cheesecloth, add to vinegar solution, and bring to a boil. Pour over cucumbers and let stand for 24 hours. Drain, reheat vinegar solution, and repeat 4 times (this is only a 5-minute process each day).
- Remove spices and pack pickles in sterile jars. Bring vinegar solution to a boil and pour over pickles. Seal and process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
Now you have tasty sweet pickles to enjoy all summer long! For more pickle recipes, see the recipes in our Related Articles at the top of the page, or browse our Almanac Recipes archives!