Sweet Gherkins Pickles

7 lbs Gherkins size Cucumbers                                                 

2 C dehydrated lime                                                             

6 C vinegar (divided)                                                             

4 tsp Alum                                                                                

½ C pickling salt                                                                   

½ onion, thinly sliced                                                            

2 tsp vanilla

8 C sugar 

3/4 tsp turmeric

2 tsp celery seed

2 tsp whole mixed pickling spice  

2 sticks cinnamon

½ tsp fennel


First Day:

Wash cucumbers and cut 1/16 inch from blossom end. Place the Cucumbers in a stone jar (or plastic bucket).  Mix the lime with 8½ Cups water and pour over the cucumbers.  Let stand for 24 hours.

Second Day:

Drain Cucumbers, wash in cold water, drain.  Repeat washing and draining until all lime is dissolved and removed.  Drain well.  Place cucumbers in a large pot.  Mix 1 cup of the vinegar, with 2 cups water and the alum and salt thoroughly and pour over the cucumbers.  Add enough water to cover the cucumbers and bring to a boil; reduced heat and simmer for 2 hours.  Drain well and place cucumbers back in the stone jar.  Mix 2 cups vinegar, 1 cup water,  3 cups sugar, turmeric and spices; bring to a boil.  Pour over the cucumbers and let stand for 24 hours.

Third Day:

Drain syrup into a pan  add another 2 C vinegar and 2 C sugar, bring to a boil.  Pour over the cucumbers.  Let stand for 24 hours.

Fourth Day:

Drain syrup into a pan  add another 1C vinegar and 2 C sugar, bring to a boil.  Pour over the cucumbers.  Let stand for 24 hours.

Fifth Day:

Drain syrup into a pan add 1 C sugar and 2 tsp vanilla;  bring to a boil.  Pack cucumbers into sterilized jars; cover with hot syrup.  Seal jars and process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes