Most gardeners have an abundance of cucumbers and are quick to share with friends and neighbors. My friend Buddy Waters brought some by for us, and I was happy to get them. I knew what we couldn’t eat in the next day or two, I could put to good use making homemade pickles.
The recipe for Lime Pickles comes from my dad’s Aunt Blanche Virginia Davis Anderson, better known to everyone as “Aunt Bunch.” Aunt Bunch was well known in the community as a great cook. In the fall and at holiday time, people talked about her baking and her stack cakes. We wanted to use her recipe for pickles because we like the crisp texture they have from being soaked in the lime water.
Contrary to what their name might conjure up, Lime Pickles are a sweet pickle. The lime can be bought in the canning section of most grocery stores. The process takes a little longer but is well worth the effort. Gail “puts up” jars of these pickles every year, and everyone loves them.
Aunt Bunch’s Lime Pickles
2 cups lime for lime water
2 gallons sliced cucumbers
2 quarts Apple Cider vinegar
9 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon salt
1 tsp. Allspice
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. celery seed
Prepare the lime water by mixing two cups of lime per two gallons of water.
In a crock, large pot or bucket, let the cucumber slices stand in 2 gallons of the prepared lime water for 24 hours. Wash, then let stand in clear water for three more hours.
Prepare the syrup mixture by adding sugar, salt, Allspice, cloves and celery seed to two quarts of Apple Cider vinegar. Add cucumbers. Bring mixture to a boil, then simmer for 35 minutes.
Fill the canning jars with the pickles, pouring in enough of the syrup mixture to cover the pickles. Seal the jars. (If this is your first time making pickles, I suggest placing the jars in a large pot. Cover the top with water and boil for about 10 minutes. Let cool. The lids will seal themselves as the jars of pickles are cooling.)