Pickling is really the "fun" part of canning. It is comparatively easy and the results are satisfying. There is plenty of room for creativity in pickling but there are still hard and fast rules, so follow the recipe for safe, successful results.
Wide-mouth jars are very handy for most pickles. Spears, sticks, or small whole cukes go in and out much more easily than with regular jars. But don't pack your cucumbers so tightly that they won't be completely surrounded by liquid.
The following recipe, originally from a Woman's Day cookbook, is now a family favorite with a young woman from Thailand who says her relatives like it so much they have taken it back home. When she makes it for her husband, who likes a sweeter pickle, she adds 1 cup more of sugar. Dang Sweet Pickle Sticks 25 to 30 firm medium pickling cucumbers 3 3/4 cup white vinegar 3 cups sugar 3 tablespoons pure granulated salt 4 1/2 teaspoons celery seed 4 1/4 teaspoon tumeric 3/4 teaspoon mustard seed
Wash cucumbers and cut into sticks. Cover with boiling water and let stand 4 to 5 hours. Drain; then pack solidly into 6 pint jars. Mix remaining ingredients in saucepan, bring to boil, and boil 5 minutes. Pour mixture over cucumbers, filling to within 1/2 inch of top. Put on caps and firmly screw bands tight. Process 5 minutes. Makes 6 pint jars.