- 2 gallons water
- 2 cups pickling lime (calcium hydroxide)
- 7 pounds cucumbers, cut into chunks
- 6 cups cold vinegar
- 8 cups white sugar
- 2 teaspoons pickling spice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon celery seed
- 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1 drop food coloring, or as desired
- Mix 2 gallons water and pickling lime together in a large bowl; add cucumbers and soak, stirring often, for 24 hours. Drain and thoroughly rinse cucumbers under cold water.
- Fill a large bowl with ice water and soak cucumbers for 3 hours; drain.
- Pour cold vinegar into a large pot. Mix sugar, pickling spice, salt, celery seed, cloves, and food coloring into vinegar until dissolved. Add cucumbers; let sit, 8 hours to overnight.
- Bring cucumber mixture to a boil; remove pot from heat.
- Sterilize the jars and lids in boiling water for at least 5 minutes. Pack cucumber mixture into hot, sterilized jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of the top. Run a clean knife or thin spatula around the insides of the jars after they have been filled to remove any air bubbles. Wipe the rims of the jars with a moist paper towel to remove any food residue. Top with lids and screw on rings.
- Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill halfway with water. Bring to a boil and lower jars into the boiling water using a holder. Leave a 2-inch space between the jars. Pour in more boiling water if necessary to bring the water level to at least 1 inch above the tops of the jars. Bring the water to a rolling boil, cover the pot, and process for 15 minutes.
- Remove the jars from the stockpot and place onto a cloth-covered or wood surface, several inches apart, until cool. Press the top of each lid with a finger, ensuring that the seal is tight (lid does not move up or down at all). Store in a cool, dark area.
lime pickles, recipe