I’ve never cared a lot for sweet pickles, but I have SO. MANY. CUCUMBERS. that I decided to give it a whirl. I started with my go-to pickle-making book, the MIRRO ALL-PURPOSE COOK BOOK, copyright 1954. My husband’s eldest sister who, Charlie and I learned after we started dating, used to hang around some with my mother and was in my mother’s mother’s Bible Drill class, gave it to me when Charlie and I got married, along with a photo of my mother pregnant with me. The cookbook had belonged to my dear departed grandmother, my mother’s mother. I’ve used it so much, it started to fall apart so my mother, who repairs books for the library, repaired her mother’s cookbook for me. Now how about that?

Anyway, I started out with that recipe, but I didn’t have all the ingredients, so I substituted some. I tasted the juice, and it tasted good, so I think the pickles will be… interesting, anyway.

SWEET PICKLES

  • 1 quart of water
  • 1/3 cup salt
  • 50 small cucumbers
  • 3 cups vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • mixed spices–1 tsp in each quart jar

I didn’t have mixed spices, so I used 1/4 tsp each of celery seed, allspice berries, coriander seed and peppercorns, plus 1 whole clove.

  • pimiento pepper, seeded and cut into stripspickles made

pickles on the hoofThe pepper wasn’t in the recipe, but it’s a nice sweet pepper and I thought it would look pretty. It does.

Mix 1 quart water and 1/3 cup salt. Clean cucumbers and cut off stem ends. Soak cucumbers in salt water overnight or for 8 hours (the cucumbers don’t give a rat’s ass if it’s overnight or overday, so long as it’s at least 8 hours). Drain and rinse. The recipe says, “Drain and dry,” but I’m like–“DRY 50 small cucumbers? Yeah, right. I’m going to put them into a solution that contains water, right? So why dry them? Be serious.” Anyway….

Boil vinegar, water and sugar for 10 minutes or until clear in a large, non-reactive pan (glass or ceramic like Corningware–in the interest of full disclosure, my mother has stock in Corning). Add cucumbers and pimiento to liquid and turn heat down to low. The recipe says, “…let stand over low heat until they lose their green color.” I’m like, “Okay, cook book, what color are they going to turn? White? Purple? Orange?” They didn’t turn any color, they stayed green. They did lose their BRIGHTNESS and turned a dull green, so maybe that’s what the book meant. Anyway….

Put 1 tsp mixed spices in each jar, stuff in the pickles and pimientos, cover with hot syrup and seal. I’m just going to pop these right in the refrigerator, so I’m not worried about them sealing. You suit yourself and your own needs.

MA

writing prompt: Have a character receive an inheritance or a hand-me-down through a roundabout route.

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