Appalachia Through My Eyes - English Ivy
Appalachia Through My Eyes - Whorled Loosestrife

14 Day Pickles

Portions of this post were originally published here on the Blind Pig in August 2008.

14 day pickles completed 
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.

Old 14 Day Pickle Recipe 

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.

Best 14 day pickles Large Web view 

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.

Sweet crunchy pickles Large Web view 
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.

Old timey sweet pickles Large Web view 

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.

How to make 14 day pickles Large Web view 

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

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Melissa-great to hear from you-thank you for the comment! You know I never noticed the difference in her recipe and the one her son (my husband's grandfather) handed down through the family to us. His recipe is typed so I guess I just assumed hers was the same : ) But his is the one I've used for the last 20 years and it does indeed use 5 quarts of sugar. The end result is a very thick syrup which surrounds the pickles. I believe the sugar is part of the preservation factor for the pickles as well as the reason the pickles keep such a nice crunch even after they've been canned. Its funny you should comment on the old post-I'm getting ready to have a pickle along on the blog in the next week or so. I'll share each step of the 14 day pickle process as I go and invite folks to pickle along if they'd like.

I also wanted to mention-the recipe is easily halved if you'd like to give it an easier try the first time around.

I hope you have a great evening and I hope you drop back by the Blind Pig often!


Blind Pig The Acorn
Celebrating and Preserving the
Culture of Appalachia

I can do the math....63 years missing her mom. DUH.

UPDATE: Brought the pickles to my family gathering. Mom tasted them, her eyes widened as she exclaimed these are my mother's icicle pickles! Her mother had died when mom was 12. She hasn't tasted these since that time......Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe-it gave my mom back a little of her childhood. No small thing when she is 75 years old-missing her mother for 53 years...

WOW! These are hands down the best pickles I've ever tasted, and I'm only on day 12....Thanks for sharing your recipe,Tipper....The food grade bucket is working well. Next year I'm making a huge batch. Or maybe this year, if I can find some more cukes. The cuke season is coming to a close here:(
My dear husband, the Pastor, stated flatly that he hated sweet pickles. I asked him to taste these, and his eyes flew open and exclaimed that these were really good! There was flavor-instead of the flat sweet candy pickles that the store sells. Yippee!

These sound so good!! I hope my cukes start producing soon. I would like to try these!

Thanks for linking up at the Carnival of Home Preserving!

I just had to make a commment about these pickles, when we were growing up mom and dad always had a large garden and canned alot of things, there were 9 of us kids, and mom canned pickle just like these, mom passed away in 1994, and whenever us kids got together, we would always talk about the "good old day" and these pickles would always be mentioned, we always called them Mom's Pickles, well, this summer my youngest brother and his wife made, talk about bringing back memories....

Ooooh, that sounds good! Thanks for the recipe and thanks to B. Ruth for more advice. Sometimes you just can't find some of the old timey things, like alum.

Love, love, LOVE pickles. Can't get enough of them. Have never tried to make them, but might give it a shot. Farmers' markets haven't had many cucumbers for sale yet (late spring making everything kinda behind). Will keep my eyes open and maybe give it a shot.

Jim-I don't have a clue!!! You'll have to tell us if no one gets it right : )

Blind Pig The Acorn

Celebrating and Preserving the

Culture of Appalachia

I've never done 14 day pickles. We canned pickles last weekend and I just used the dill packet from the store method. They turned out really great though - nice and crispy!

I've only made bread and butter pickles and they aren't very crunchy. I'll have to try these.

Tell your readers that usually any good hardware,especially smalltown hardware stores, Tracter supply, Co-ops has new crocks for sale..I would rather use a new crock rather than an antique unless it has been used every year for generations like Tippers..I would not buy an antique crock to use..I do not trust the condition of the glazes..If I lived close I would loan you my crocks..I bought new to make pickles in several years ago...
If you are close to a Mennonite or Amish community, their stores usually carry crocks and all canning supplies..I buy a lot of things from them..cheeses are great...'wait we are talking about pickles' could substitute a new product probably in your pickles made by Ball called Pickle Crisp, it is being substituted for alum....Some folks got scared of alum and started using Pickle crisp...the directions are on the bottle..I put it in my freezer pickles this year to make them crisper...A lot of folks don't like to use slaked lime for crispness either, In recipes using slaked lime it is always washed drained and washed away...I still used slaked lime recipes and always added a tiny bit of alum to my pickled beans and okra as well as pickles...I always found alum in the grocery store in a small tin..well guess they are plastic or glass now..otherwise a good canning supply store should have alum..
The way I figure this is my Mother, Grandmothers and Aunts used slaked lime, alum in all recipes that needed it for crispness, etc..One Granny lived to 79, one lived to 89 and Mom lived to 93..and a great Aunt lived to 103 actually just short of I think it wasn't any of those things that did them in..
Thanks Tipper,

Tipper--I'm not a huge fan of most kinds of pickles, but I do like them in tater salad and deviled eggs. Anastasia's post does remind me of two kinds of pickles I do like--watermelon rind and peach. I think that's partly because they are a treasured food memory, something most of us carry with us as part of our mental baggage, whether we realize it or not.
My Grandma pickled lots of peaches, and about mid-afternoon on a summer day as hot as this one is, I'd go to the refrigerator and get one out of the jar of peach pickles which always seemed to be there. Similarly, I fondly remember eating watermelon with strick instructions from Grandma: "Now you'uns save those rinds, I'll make a run of pickles out of 'em. I haven't had either, at least not the home-made version, in a 'coon's age.

P. S. I'm guessing that most of you wonder what in the world Anastasia is talking about when she mentions aubergines. I know, but only because of having spent several years of my life in the British Isles. How many know what the vegetable is?

I remember bread and butter pickles! These sound really good. I don't imagine I will try them but admire you for doing so. Thanks for visiting my blog!

I've never tasted these pickles before. They sound delicious. We used to make bread and butter pickles when I was growing up. I like pickles especially with pinto beans. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

Sheryl-you can usually find Alum in any grocery store-its with the other spices, salt, pepper, etc. If you try them I hope you like them : )

Blind Pig The Acorn

Celebrating and Preserving the

Culture of Appalachia

I really don't know if I've had them or not, so many friends make pickles. This recipe looks doable, I might try my had at it if I can find alum. drugstore?

Jen-last year when we were talking about pickling in a crock-several readers said they had tried plastic buckets-food grade-and had good success with them. I know buckets are waayyy cheaper than crocks.

Blind Pig The Acorn

Celebrating and Preserving the

Culture of Appalachia


Pickles are good and we eat them a lot. I'll bet The Deer Hunter's potato salad would be super good!


I have never made pickles, but I adore them. Need to find a crock...wish me luck!

Sounds like a great recipe and I shall have to try it!

Oh yes, my Aunt Helen always made 14 day pickles. The house would smell so good. She has been gone a number of years. I tried to find her crock, whick was huge. It had disappeared, dont know who took it. Wish that I had it just for the memories. Picked my first pickle from the the test plants. The good day and the bad ones are the same for now. Barbara

How great to have a family recipe that you know has been used with success for generations...
I have a similar recipe for sweet crisp cucumber pickles..but doesn't take quite 14 days..
I am like you the best potato salad made, is one with sweet crisp homemade pickles in it...Thanks for a great post...
Makes me want to can more pickles...NOT...I'm over pickles here for one year...but I would gladly take a jar of yours..they look so good..Ha
Thanks Tipper,

I've made my mom's 14-day pickles. That recipe calls for oil of cinnamon and oil of cloves rather than the whole spices. It makes a great, crispy sweet pickle.

In Cyprus, we pickle all sorts of vegetables such as peeled onions, peppers, aubergines, marrows, celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, cabbage, cauliflower but also fruit, hard eggs and walnuts. Homemade wine can be used or cider vinegar for pickling but it must be prepared in advance by adding whole spices in a muslin bag for about 6 weeks. Ground spices cause clouding. The spiced vinegar can be used either cold for vegetables that are best crisp, such as cauliflower and onions, or hot for fruit pickles.

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