School Girl Pickles

School Girl Pickles

Crisp, sweet sandwich slices


Cucumbers – 12 lbs
Pickling Salt (or any other salt without additives like iodine or anti-caking ingredients) – 5 cups
Water – 5 quarts
Alum – 14 teaspoons (1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons)
Vinegar, 5% acidity – 1 gallon
Sugar – 8 lbs
Spices – 1 small box or what you have on hand, wrapped in cheesecloth

Day 1 – Wash the cucumbers. In a crock, make a brine of salt and water strong enough to float an egg (see amounts above). Soak the cucumbers whole for two weeks in the brine. Place a weight on the cukes so they stay submerged. I used a five gallon plastic bucket with a dinner plate and a heavy glass mortar bowl filled with white beans in cheesecloth.


Check the cucumbers every day. Ignore the froth. Along about the second week, you may begin seeing a cloudiness to the water and/or some froth or floaties. Just skim them off and make sure no air gets to the cucumbers.

Day 14 – Drain the cucumbers and rinse the crock. Do not rinse the cukes! Soak cucumbers (weighted) overnight in clear water in the crock

Day 15 – Rinse and cut into slices the next morning. This is the ONLY time you will rinse the cucumbers.


Soak them in alum water (weighted) for six hours. Make sure to dissolve the alum thoroughly before pouring onto the cucumber slices. Add water if needed to cover.


Day 15 – Remove the cucumbers from the crock and rinse the crock. Move cucumbers from the plastic bucket to a large stainless steel pot. Heat vinegar to scalding and pour over the cukes. Let stand, weighted, for 24 hours.


Day 16 – Pour off the vinegar mixture. Empty the crock.

In the crock, layer the sugar and cukes alternately and push the spices (1/8 cup) in cheesecloth down into the middle of the crock. Let stand one week in the pot. Help the sugar dissolve by tilting and turning the pot, allowing the juice from the bottom to make it to the top. Don’t try and stir them with a spoon or spatula because you risk breaking the slices.

Day 23 – Now you can pack the finished pickles into jars. They do not have to be sealed in a boiling water bath or refrigerated. In fact, you don’t even have to put them into jars if you don’t want to. You can leave them in the pot indefinitely.

Both the red towel and 5 Star hot plate are gifts from our good friend, Linda Watson of Cook for Good. Nice cooking with you, Sis!

Recipe shared with us by our next door neighbor Reda Partin in June of 2011. Makes 7 quarts or 14 pints.

Especially nice with garden fresh tomato sandwich on home made sourdough bread!