When I moved back after college I turned to my friend Mrs. Carolyn for a little help! I have known Mrs. Carolyn my entire life. She was the secretary at the elementary school where my parents taught and our families have been long time friends. When my dad was opening our shop and cafe 13 years ago, he called on Mrs. Carolyn to help in The Cafe. She has been with us ever since! She lovingly tends to our Cafe guests every Tuesday and it is her pimiento cheese recipe that has become famous in our little town.
Carolyn and her husband always kept a summer garden. Several years ago she let me come out and pick peas with her. We took our peas to the local canning plant to have them shelled and then she helped me blanch and bag them up to freeze them. One summer she helped me with okra and this summer I got a lesson in canning her delicious sweet pickles!
We have decided to share her secrets with you, with her permission of course. :) The pickle process takes a few days to complete, so be sure to have a little time on your hands! Here is your peek into Mrs. Carolyn's pickle making methods.
- Seven pounds of cucumbers (the smaller the better)
- Pickling Lime
- Pickling Spices
- One gallon of distilled white vinegar
- 8 pounds of white granulated sugar
- 14 pint or 7 quart sized jars with lids and rings
- Piece of an old t-shirt or pantie hose
- Large bowl or basin (should not be aluminum)
- Large pot (should not be aluminum)
Using a colander, rinse your cucumbers off and rinse out your basin. Place the cucumbers back in the basin and cover them with water again. Let the cucumbers soak in the clean water for one hour. Repeat this step two more times!
After you have soaked the cucumbers in clean water three times (at one hour each time), drain them again with your colander. Rinse your basin and place the cucumbers back in, covering them with ice water this time. Mrs. Carolyn let her cucumbers soak in ice water for three hours before moving on to the next step.
You can follow along with the recipe on the Mrs. Wages Pickling Lime package, or do what we did! Mrs. Carolyn's pickles are perfectly crispy, sweet and tart--so her version is a little different. We ended up using one whole gallon of white distilled vinegar. *This is where experience comes in. She knows what to add by simply looking at it!
Begin filling your jars once your pickles have boiled for 30-45 minutes.
We have a few things over in the store that you might find helpful if you do decide to make a batch of pickles of your own! Purchase a Canning Kit to dress up your jars or an enamel basin to make the liming and soaking process a little bit easier!