Ingredients for Sweet Pickle Sticks
- Cucumbers - any variety will work, but short, thick ones slice prettiest for this recipe (lengthwise)
- Boling water to cover
- 3 3/4 cups white vinegar
- 3 cups white sugar
- 3 tablespoons pickling salt (found in the pickle-making section of your local supermarket)
- 4 1/2 teaspoons celery seed
- 4 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
- 3/4 teaspoon mustard seed
This amount of solution is enough for about three quarts, or six pints of pickles. For the number of quarts shown in this hub, the solution was doubled or somewhat more.
Step One - Wash and Cut the Cucumbers, Soak in Boiling Water
Gently scrub fresh, firm cucumbers (for best quality, pick early in the morning). Select only those with no signs of deterioration or bruising.
Heat drinking water to boiling - enough to cover sliced cucumbers.
Slice cucumbers lengthwise into a suitably sized crock, or large mixing bowl.
Pour boiling water over cucumber sticks to cover completely. This crock will soak enough pickle sticks for about seven quarts.
Cover the cucumber sticks with a plate and weight them down - they will try to float on top of the water if you don't. Soak 4-5 hours.
Step Two - Prepare Your Jars and Canning Equipment
While cucumbers are soaking, wash (sterilize if necessary) and examine jars (chips, cracks), rings (bent, excessive rust), and lids (misaligned rubber). Heat boiling waterbath canner, about two-thirds full of water for a full load.
Either gently simmer the lids (don't boil!), or set them in a small pan and pour on boiling water to cover, to scald them.
Step Three - Drain Cucumbers, Pack Them into Jars
Drain water off cucumber sticks.
Set them in a large container (in this case, a roasting pan) which will be easy to grab small handfuls from.
Mix up solution (see note, above, to determine quantity). Boil five minutes.
Meanwhile, pack cucumber sticks into clean jars. Pack tightly, but don't crush.
Ladle hot solution over cucmbers, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Wipe rim of jar with clean, damp cloth.
Place lid on jar, and screw on band firmly, but not terribly tight.
Place jars into canner rack.
Step Four - Process Pickles in a Boiling Waterbath Canner, Cool Jars and Store Them
Gently place rack with jars into canner - beware of splashing hot water!
Water should cover jars by about one inch. Put on lid, wait for water to return to a full boil, and process pickles 5 minutes.
Lift jars out carefully, and set on a towel away from drafts.
Let sit overnight. Jars usually "pop" or "ping" when properly sealed. Wash outsides of jars with mild, soapy water to remove any hard water stains or pickling residues.