How to Make Grandma's Icebox Sweet Pickles

Pickles may be eaten whole or sliced for use in sandwiches.
Pickles may be eaten whole or sliced for use in sandwiches. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

Many Americans who grew up in the mid-1900s remember their mothers or grandmothers "putting up" fruits, vegetables and preserves. Families in rural communities today still do this, as do those wanting to make their own salsa, jellies and other homemade treats. "Ice box" sweet pickles can be made from cucumbers or dill pickles, and you no longer have to spend hours sterilizing jars and pressure-sealing them with paraffin like our grandmothers did. This recipe provides you with a simple, quick way to make delicious sweet pickles for your summer cookouts.

Things You'll Need

  • 1/2 cup non-iodized salt
  • 2 qts. ice water
  • Large mixing bowl
  • 3 lbs. Kirby (pickling) cucumbers
  • 1 lb. white onions
  • Sharp kitchen knife
  • Refrigerator
  • 3 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 2 cups water
  • 5-quart stock pot
  • Mixing spoon
  • Large slotted spoon
  • 6 1-pint jars with lids

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Mix the salt and the ice water in a large bowl to make a brine.

Cut the ends off of the cucumbers. Slice the cucumbers evenly in 1/4-inch slices. Peel and slice the onions with a sharp kitchen knife. Place the cucumbers and the onions into the ice water brine and chill them in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Mix the apple cider vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, turmeric and two cups of water together in a stock pot with a mixing spoon. Heat the mixture until it boils, stirring occasionally.

Add the chilled cucumbers and onions to the boiling mixture using the slotted spoon. Continue boiling for five minutes or until the cucumber slices begin to lose color. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the entire mixture to cool in the pan.

Spoon the finished pickles into jars. Add the juice to each jar. Seal tightly and keep refrigerated.


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