Mom had a theory: With any good meal, you need something a little sweet, even if it’s just a pickle! I always thought this was very good advice, not because I shared her sweet tooth, but it seemed like something a connoisseur would surely agree with.
I share Mom’s penchant for noticing something “new” and the fun it is to try something out I haven’t done before. There were a couple of summers when I was the only kid at home anymore and Mom had the luxury of experimenting with some of the recipes she clipped from newspapers, etc. She definitely tried this one out as I can still picture the cucumbers steeping in crocks in the north kitchen. These were by no means one of my favorites, but I did appreciate that using alum is what helps to make pickles crisp. I totally get why Mom needed to try this out, but also why she didn’t need to make these any more the next year…..
Fourteen Day Pickles
Cover 2 gallons cucumbers with boiling water in which 2 cups salt have been dissolved. Let stand a week. I put a plate or saucer on top and a weight to keep the pickles all covered with the liquid.
Eighth day, rinse off and cover with clear boiling water.
Ninth day, drain and cover with boiling water in which 4 tablespoons of alum have been dissolved.
Tenth day, drain, rinse off and cover with clear boiling water.
Eleventh day, split in halves or quarters according to size, or prick whole pickles several places with a fork. If left wholes, 2 1/2 to 3 inches is about as long as they should be. Cover with boiling syrup made of:
5 pints vinegar
6 cups white sugar
1 oz. stick cinnamon
1 oz. whole allspice
Twelfth day, drain off syrup, heat, add 1 cups sugar and pour again over pickles.
Thirteenth and fourteenth days, repeat the same as twelfth, adding 1 cup sugar each day. Seal on fourteenth day — they can be left in open crock. — Mrs. Wayne Boysen, Route 3, Cedar Falls, Iowa.