Chopping cucumbers to make sweet pickles, I realized “when I am gone no one in the family will continue this tradition.” My husband’s mom canned her nine day sweet pickles and my husband and our sons could finish off a pint at a meal.
A lady in my husband’s first church made the best sweet pickles and gave me her recipe. When my mother-in-law came to visit I was anxious for her to try my pickles. She bite into a pickle and shrieked while squinting, “Whooooo, they are good.” Maybe a little too much spices or vinegar???
Over the years I fine-tuned the recipe and now each summer I make Mrs. Wages Lime Pickles to the delight of husband, sons and now grandson.
The next Sunday at lunch with my son and his family, I related my sentimental feeling about no one carrying on the tradition of making pickles.
My grandson Cameron replied with no thought to missing me, “Nana, that is no problem. We can just look up the recipe on the internet!”
So, this prompted me to help my grandson find my recipes “on the internet.”
Mrs. Wages Lime Pickles
- 7 lbs medium-size pickling cucumbers
- 1 cup Mrs. Wages® Pickling Lime
- 2 gal water
- 2 qt Mrs. Wages® Pickling & Canning Vinegar or other commercial white vinegar (5% acidity)
- 8 cups granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp Mrs. Wages® Pickling & Canning Salt
- 1 Tbsp Mrs. Wages® Mixed Pickling Spice
Wash cucumbers. Remove 1/16 -inch from blossom end and slice crosswise. Mix pickling lime in water. Aluminum containers should not be used for the lime solution. Soak cucumbers for 12 hours or overnight in the lime water, stirring occasionally. Rinse 3 times in cool water and soak 3 more hours in ice water.
In a bowl, mix together vinegar, sugar, and salt until dissolved. Remove cucumbers from final ice water soak. Drain slices. Pour syrup over top. Let stand for 5 to 6 hours or overnight. Add pickling spice to taste.
Drain syrup off cucumber slices into a saucepan. Simmer for 35 minutes. Pack cucumber slices into hot quart jars. Pour boiling syrup over slices to cover and leaving 1/2 -inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Adjust lids and process pints for 10 minutes and quarts for 15 minutes, using boiling water bath method. (I don’t process my jars – they seal fine if packed in hot sterilized jars and last for years.)
So here you go Cameron, it’s on the internet. I hope you find a wife one day who will make you some of Nana’s sweet pickles. It is truly a labor of love!