I don't like sweet pickles. But my family loves them! So here I am going through the four day process of making sweet pickles.
Wash about 7 pounds of small cucumbers. Wash thoroughly, scrub with a vegetable brush. It is ok to leave stem ends on if desired. Place in a large container ( I filled a gallon and a quart canning jars) And cover with boiling water.
8 hours later drain and cover with fresh boiling water.
Drain and cover with fresh boiling water.
8 to 10 hours later drain; Add ½ cup salt (I'll add 2 Tablespoons to my quart and the rest into the gallon) Cover with fresh boiling water.
Drain. Prick cucumbers in several places with a table fork. Make a syrup of 3 cups sugar and 3 cups vinegar; Add ¾ teaspoon turmeric and spices.( 2 teaspoon celery seed, 2 teaspoon whole mixed pickling spice, 8 one inch pieces of cinnamon stick, ½ teaspoon fennal, if desired) Heat to boiling and pour over cucumbers. (cucumbers will be partially covered at this point)
8 to 10 hours later drain syrup into a pan; add 2 cups of sugar and 2 cups of vinegar to the syrup. Heat to boiling and pour over the pickles.
Drain syrup into a pan; Add 2 cups sugar and 1 cup vinegar to syrup. Heat to a boil and pour over the pickles
8 to 10 hours later: Drain syrup into a pan. Add 1 cup sugar and 2 teaspoon vanilla if desired; heat to boiling. Pack pickles into clean hot pint jars and cover towithin ½ inch of jar tops with hot syrup. Release air bubbles with chop stick or butter knife, being careful to not nick pickles. Clean rim with clean damp cloth and add lids and screw bands.
Process in water bath canner for 5 minutes. Start your timer when the water returns to a full boil. Remove jars when timer goes off. Tighten screw bands if needed. Set jars up right on a clean towel or wire rack to cool with room around the jars and away from any drafts. Nothing is more lovely then sitting down and hearing the pings as the jars cool down and seal.
Hope you make good use of any free cucumbers that come your way!