Thursday, September 15, 2011

Old FAshion Lime Pickles

Old Fashion Lime Pickles
Dorcas Annette Walker

I first tasted Old Fashion Lime Pickles years ago in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and of course the first chance I got I made some for myself. Since then I’ve always kept a shelf full with several quarts of these old timey pickles in my pantry to have on hand. Their brilliant green color always brightens up my room of canned produce. This time of year cucumbers have multiplied in gardens and usually there is an abundance to be found so this past week after taking inventory, I decided to restock my pickles and make up a batch of the Old Fashion Lime Pickles as several of those jars on my pickle shelf were empty.

As soon as my son came home one evening while I was simmering vinegar and spices on the stove to make the pickling syrup he told his dad, “I can smell Mom doing up her a batch of pickles as soon as I entered the house.” To me there is nothing like having spicy smells permeate the house when one is canning. From the first batch of spring strawberry jam, to summer green beans, tomatoes, peaches, and pickles, then to apples and pumpkins in the fall each one has its own particular aroma when preserving. Even though canning can be a long and tiring process hearing the “ping” of the lids as canned jars seal is a pleasure I never tire of- not to mention the satisfaction of seeing the shelves in my pantry fill up to overflowing with produce for the coming year. No matter which way the economy goes, I know that my family will have healthy food to eat.

My Old Fashion Lime Pickles are a chunky sweet pickle that has a unique spicy taste of their own. Their greenish tint adds color to any meal. I always dice up some of the Old Fashion Lime Pickles when making my potato and macaroni salad, which help to add a distinctive flavor. Even though it takes a couple of days to make these Old Fashion Lime Pickles they are well worth the time and effort. One batch of my Old Fashion Lime Pickles makes six to seven quarts.

Old Fashion Lime Pickles

10 large cucumbers
1 c pickling lime
2 qts white vinegar
8 c sugar (about 5 pounds)
2 tb pickling spice
1 tb green food coloring
1½ tb salt
1 tsp whole cloves
1 tsp celery seed
½ whole cinnamon bark crushed

Slice cucumbers in ¼ inch chunks in a clean bucket (not aluminum). Cover with water and stir in pickling lime until dissolved. Soak for 24 hrs stirring occasionally. Drain and rinse the cucumbers three times in cold water. Then soak the cucumbers for 3 hrs in ice water and drain. In a large saucepan bring to a rolling boil the vinegar, sugar, pickling spice, food coloring, salt, cloves, celery seed, and cinnamon bark. Pour syrup over the drained cucumbers and let sit overnight. Pack into clean quart jars, seal, and can for fifteen minutes. Let jars cool and then chill before serving!

Weekly tip: For a guaranteed sealing of jars when canning, always make sure that there is no cracks or food particles on the top of the glass jar by wetting your finger and running it around the rim before putting on the lid and ring. Then make sure that all the filled jars are completely covered in water by a good inch!

Dorcas Annette Walker is a published author, columnist, speaker, freelance magazine writer, and photographer from Jamestown, Tennessee. Contact her at: For more recipes check out her Creative Tennessee Mountain Cookin blog at:


Anonymous said...

My grandmother is Pennsylvania Dutch and made these all the time, I happened upon your page and found them, you are a life saver and thank you!!!

Dorcas Annette Walker said...

From one generation of a Pennsylvania Dutch family to another- you are quite welcome. Enjoy!