In the 20 years we lived in the country and had a huge vegetable garden, I made every type of pickle, many of them prizewinners at the county fair, but this is my personal favorite and the only pickles that we ran out of before canning season came around each year. The cucumbers can be cut in any shape – slices, spears, or small ones could be left whole – but fairly thin sticks were always cut for these pickles.
I used to put up 20 or 25 jars during the summer, but since I’m alone now, I make up a small batch to last through the summer barbecue season. This recipe makes 3 one-pint jars.
SWEET AND SOUR PICKLE STICKS
- 6 medium sized pickling cucumbers (not the waxed type found at the supermarket), enough to fill 3 pint-sized Mason canning jars
- 1-1/4 cup plus 2 Tblsp. white vinegar (5% acidity)
- 1 cup water
- 2 Tblsp. pickling salt
- 1 Tblsp. celery seed
- 1 Tblsp. plus 1/4 tsp. turmeric
- 1 tsp. mustard seed
- 2-1/4 cups granulated sugar
Cut cucumbers into strips and pack into sterilized jars. No need to peel, but trim off the ends. The freshest cucumbers make the crunchiest pickles.
In a large saucepan, combine vinegar, water, pickling salt, celery seed, turmeric, mustard seed and sugar. Bring to a boil – then boil 5 minutes longer. Pour over the cucumbers in the jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace.
Wipe jars clean, put lids on jars and process in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes. Cool on a wire rack before storing. I’ve found an asparagus steamer is good for processing just a few jars. Let cure for 2 weeks before using.