Portions of this post were originally published here on the Blind Pig in August 2008.
When I was growing up, the only pickles Granny ever made were Bread and Butter Pickles. After The Deer Hunter and I were married his mother, Miss Cindy, introduced me to 14 Day Pickles-let's just say in my opinion they put the smack down on Bread and Butter Pickles.
This is the original 14 Day Pickle Recipe that belonged to Miss Cindy's grandmother Dollie. I'm glad Miss Cindy had the foresight to laminated the page to preserve it. Curtis, Miss Cindy's father, tweaked the original recipe and his version is the one we use. The Deer Hunter and I are the 3rd generation of his family to use the recipe.
14 days seems like a lot of time to put into a run of pickles, but you don't actually have to do something on each of the days, and it is so worth the time it does take. The pickles are crunchy and sweet. Perfect with soup beans and cornbread. The Deer Hunter makes the best potato salad I've ever tasted and I believe 14 Day Pickles are the key to his perfection.
Days 1-7: Wash 3 dozen small cucumbers. Do not peel. Place in crock. Cover with brine-1 pint of salt (do not use iodized) and 1 gallon of cold water. Let stand one week. To keep the cucumbers submerged, I put a plate on top of them, weighted down with 2 pint canning jars full of water at each stage of leaving the pickles overnight.
Day 8: Pour off brine. Cover with boiling water. Let stand overnight.
Day 9: Drain. Cut in small pieces. Cover with boiling water containing Alum-lump size of walnut (2 tablespoons) and Horse Radish-root size of carrot cut in pieces (2 tablespoons of prepared horse radish may be substituted). Let stand overnight.
Day 10: Drain liquid. Add boiling water to cover. Let stand overnight.
Day 11: Drain well. Make syrup of *3 pints of apple cider vinegar, *5 quarts sugar, *Approximately 1/2 small box of cinnamon tied in gauze (as you can see I just put mine in loose), *2 tablespoons whole cloves, *2 tablespoons celery seed. Bring all the ingredients to a boil and pour over pickles. Let stand overnight.
Day 12: Drain syrup from pickles. Bring to a boil and pour over pickles. Let stand overnight.
Day 13: Drain syrup from pickles. Bring to a boil and pour over pickles. Let stand overnight.
Day 14: Bring pickle syrup mixture to a boil; remove cinnamon sticks; pack in hot jars, and seal. (we use the open kettle method of canning to seal the jars-meaning-the pickles are hot-the jars are hot-and as they cool the jars seal themselves. If you're not comfortable with this method-this recipe says to water bath the jars for 15 minutes)
Have you ever eaten 14 Day Pickles?
p.s. If you have any other questions about the recipe-please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org