This recipe is from Shirley McNevich's Mom's Best Recipes Vol 3. Published here with her permission.
Don't forget to check Shirley's blog.
(by Aunt Ada [Herman] Miller)
1 - 2 gallon pickle crock
1 peck of small pickles (about the thickness of your ring finger)
1 gallon water
1 heaping cup canning salt
10 large horseradish leaves
1 1/2 TBSP alum
3 lbs. white sugar
1 pint cider vinegar
2 TBSP celery seed
2 TBSP canning salt
1/4 cup whole allspice (placed in cheesecloth and tied on the top with string)
3 1/2 whole cinnamon sticks (broken into pieces, placed in cheesecloth and tied at
Wash the pickles and place them in the crock. Pour the gallon of water in a bucket
and add the cup of canning salt--stir until mixed. Pour saltwater over the pickles--
enough so that all pickles are covered. Place a pie plate in the crock on top of the
pickles. Use a quart jar filled with water and set it on top of the pie plate to prevent
the pie plate from floating up to the top. Take a cloth and cover the top of the crock so
nothing gets into the pickles.
After 3 days, check them--if there is any scum on the top add 1/4 cup more canning
salt and restir before placing pie plate, jar and cloth back on the crock. If there is no
scum, don't add anything.
On the 8th day, scrape off any scum and throw it away. Remove all of the pickles and
place them in a separate container--set aside. Throw the salt water away and rinse
the crock. Tear the horseradish leaves into pieces that will fit into the crock. Cover the
bottom of the crock with washed horseradish leaves. Add a 3" layer of pickles next.
Add another layer of horseradish leaves. Add another 3" layer of pickles. Continue
layering until all pickles are in the crock and the top layer is horseradish leaves. Pour
a gallon of boiling water in the crock slowly (enough so everything is covered). Place
pie plate, jar of water and cloth back on.
On the 9th day, remove all of the pickles and throw away the water and the
horseradish leaves. Rinse the crock. Put pickles back in the crock. Make another
gallon of boiling water but add
1 1/2 TBSP alum and stir before boiling the water. Pour the boiling alum water back
on the pickles. Place the pie plate, jar of water and cloth back on the crock.On both the 10th and 11th days, remove the alum water from the crock, reboil it, and
pour it back on the pickles. Place the pie plate, jar of water and cloth back on the
crock. This must be done on BOTH the 10th and the 11th days.
On the 12th day, remove the pickles from the crock and throw the alum water away.
Poke each pickle three times around with a fork--if you skip this step the pickles will
shrivel. Put poked pickles back in the crock. To make the pickle juice, use a 4-6qt.
pot. Add 3lbs. white sugar, 1 pint cider vinegar, 2 TBSP celery seed, 2 TBSP canning
salt, 1/4 cup whole allspice (placed in cheesecloth and tied on the top with string), 3
1/2 whole cinnamon sticks (broken into pieces, placed in cheesecloth and tied at the
top), and enough water to make 1 gallon of liquid (about 3 1/2 qts. water added to all
of the ingredients). Place pot of the stove, stir all ingredients and float the allspice bag
and the cinnamon bag on top. Turn heat on high and bring to a boil. Remove the
allspice bag and the cinnamon bag from the juice and place them on top of the
pickles in the crock. Pour the boiling pickle juice on top of the pickles. Place the pie
plate, jar of water and cloth back on the crock.
On the 13th day, remove pickles from the crock and set aside. Pour the juice from the
crock back into the pot and reboil with the allspice bag and cinnamon bag floating on
top. Put the pickles back in the crock. When the juice comes to a boil, remove the
allspice bag and the cinnamon bag and place them back on top of the pickles in the
crock. Pour the boiling pickle juice over the pickles in the crock. Put pie plate, jar of
water and cloth back on top of the crock.
On the 14th day, remove the pickles and place them in a large pot on the stove. Pour
the pickle juice on top of the pickles and float the allspice bag and cinnamon bag on
top. Turn heat on high and cook until hot (NOT boiling). Once pickles are hot turn
heat back to medium. Wash your canning jars, place them right side up on the bottom
rack of your oven, set oven to 200 degrees. Place the center part of your canning lids
(not the rings) in a saucepan on the stove with water--heat until boiling, then turn heat
back to low. Take 1 jar out as a time and pack them with pickles (as many as you can
squeeze in). Use a soup ladle and cover the pickles in the jar. Use a table knife and
shove it down the sides of the jar 4 times around to get the bubbles out. Use a
dishrag to wipe any juice off of the top of the jar. Use a fork to get a canning lid from
the boiling water--place it on top of the pickle jar. Place the canning ring on top--
tighten lid as tight as you can. Repeat until all pickles are gone. Set finished jars on a
heat proof surface. The lids will pop after a few hours. If there are any jars that have
lids that have centers that didn't go down (and are still raised), use them first. Pickles
will keep for about 2 years.