This is a recipe that has been around for many generations, and it is so easy to make. I bet your Grandma has made this recipe.
First you start with a gallon jar of Sour pickles (not dill pickles, Sour pickles) 4 pounds of Sugar ½ bottle of Pickling Spice (or make up your own) a couple of pinches of crushed red pepper ½ bottle of Tabasco Sauce 1 knee-high stocking cut into thirds (to make your spice pack)
Every recipe I have ever seen for this calls for 5 pounds of sugar. I decreased it to 4 pounds a while back and cannot tell the difference. Hey, cutting a whole pound of sugar from the recipe should help a little bit in the calorie count, wouldn’t you think? I admit my 2 weaknesses in the healthier choices side of recipes is white sugar and white flour. Try as I may, I keep going back to those two items, so instead of beating myself up over it, I make most of my healthy choices in other areas and I don’t over- do it with the white stuff every day.
OK, back to the Homemade Wickles ; start by draining the pickle juice from the sour pickles, and pouring 2 cups of it in a pot then bring it to a boil.spice pack
Put Pickling Spice and crushed Red Pepper in 1/3 of a knee-high stocking (an unused one of course) tie it in a knot and drop it into the boiling liquid, let it boil for about 5 minutes, then turn heat off of the liquid and let the pot stay on the burner until you are ready for it. (save the other 2/3 of the knee-high for future recipes, you could also use cheesecloth)
Now, cut all of the pickles into thick slices, and put them back in the jar, layered with sugar. Some people like to add fresh onions and garlic in the layers, if you want to, now is the time.
All of the pickles and all 4 pounds of the sugar will go back in the jar. Pour the pickle juice along with the spice pack over the pickles and sugar. Then add ½ bottle of Tabasco Sauce (that’s about 50 shakes). This will give just a smooth lil’ kick to your finished pickles, if you want a wallop of a kick then use the whole bottle of Tabasco sauce.
Put the lid on the jar and turn it upside down and back up right about ten times. After that the hard part begins, you have to wait the next 7 days while letting the jar sit upright on day one, upside down on day two, right side up, then upside down. Turn the jar every day for 7 days. Now that’s the hard part. On the 7th day, open the jar and discard the spice pack and enjoy your Wickedly Wonderful Homemade Wickles!
These get even better as the days go by.
If you are a fan of Wickles, which are pricey at nearly $5.00 per quart and can only be found in the stores around Thanksgiving and Christmas you will love these.
If you don’t like sweet and spicy, make the same recipe but leave out the red pepper and Tabasco Sauce, then you’ll have the best sweet pickles of your life.
I know, I know, you’re asking if I wanted sweet pickles why didn’t I just get sweet pickles to start with instead of converting sour pickles into sweet pickles. The answer to that is that these are so much better, worth the wait, and I get a whole gallon of these for about $11.00. I usually pay $6.00 for a gallon of Sour Pickles and under $5.00 for the sugar, tabasco, and spices.
Sour pickles might be a little hard to find, but can usually be found around North Carolina at the IGA stores and the Carlie C’s stores, which are the older grocery stores. Mt. Olive Pickle Company, based in Mount Olive, North Carolina carries exactly what you need if you have trouble finding them. I guess you can ask your grocer to order them for you. www.mtolivepickles.com
These also make great gifts. Divide into quarts or pints, tie a little raffia around the top, and whala you have a cute little gift.