Today I canned what my Grampa Chet called 7-day Chunk Pickles. These pickles were almost always on the table at lunch or dinner at my grandparent's house, on a small plate that seemed designed for little condiments like pickles. They are delicious on a cheese sandwich, chopped up small in tuna or egg salad, and someone at market mentioned that they turn theirs into a "healthy" alternative to the corn syrup-laden sweet relish found in the grocery stores. A warning, though - in our low-sugar or no-sugar house, these are the exception - they are FULL OF SUGAR!! We use them sparingly, and in fact, when I say "we", I mean Ani and me. Dan and Eliza won't touch them. That said...here is the recipe!
10 medium cucumbers (7-8 pounds) (in Grampa's handwriting, it says "my preference - 1 inch diam. 6-8 in long")
Cover whole cucumbers with boiling water and let stand. Repeat hot water treatment (draining each 24 hours) for four (4) twenty-four hour periods. (Rinse pickles if they get slimy)
Cut into 1/2 inch chunks - place in mixing bowl for next 3 days with syrup:
8 cups sugar*
4 cups apple cider vinegar
2 TBS mixed pickling spices
5 tsp salt
Bring to a boil and pour over cut cucumbers.
At end of 7th day - 4 days whole in hot water, 3 days in syrup - bring chunks and syrup to a boil (slowly, so they heat through) and seal in hot sterilized jars.
These amounts make about 7 pints.
(And ah, I only now read that he later penned in this note: Largest mixing bowl of chunks needs about one recipe of syrup. I think I made too much syrup this time...)
*eight. Eight?? EIGHT! I cheated and did not use eight. I think I used 30 cucumbers this time, but they were a little smaller in length, and I used one and a half the recipe of syrup. Yowza.
We make a few 1/2 pints of these every year and give some away to those who profess to adore homemade sweet pickles, but truthfully, I would make them anyway; it makes me feel close to my grandparents to have a few little jars sitting on my shelf. They also remind me of these awesome sandwich contests I used to have with my Uncle Tim - they are unexpectedly wonderful with peanut butter...I dare you.