From Juneau, WI we have a recipe for sweet & sour pickles. These popular little gherkins take quite a lot of sugar, spices and time to make, but according to the recipe, they are delicious. I’m not a pickle maker, so I can’t advise here, except to say that pickling spice is probably what she is referring to with “mixed spices.” This generally includes whole mustard seeds, whole allspice, whole coriander, whole cloves, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and ginger. However, variations can be made regionally or over time. What is popular now might not have been popular 50 years ago, for instance. You may also see red pepper flakes, peppercorns, and dill. In this case, it’s a mystery what the original homemaker used, so each person’s pickles will taste slightly different. These pickles could also be canned if you are versed on how to do that.
Sweet Sour Pickles
Clean 300 little cucumbers (or take all kinds, cut up and cost 300 pieces). Place in a large dish, sprinkle 2-3 cup salt through them. Cover with boiling water. Wipe dry in the morning. Place in earthen jar. Take 1/4 gallon cold vinegar, mix 4 large tablespoons dry mustard, 4 tablespoons salt, 4 tablespoons sugar. Pour over pickles and stir well. Cover with 1/4 cup mixed spices. Set in cool place.
Weigh 3 pounds sugar and each morning add a handful to pickles and stir. When sugar is all added the pickles are ready to eat. They will in an open jar. They are delicious.