Lay firm, small cucumbers of uniform size, none of them more than three inches long, in a large earthen crock, with a layer of salt upon every layer of cucumbers. Pour in enough cold water to cover them, placing a heavily weighted plate on top to prevent floating. Every other day stir the pickles up from the bottom and leave them in the brine for ten days. At the end of this time pour it off and pick over the pickles, throwing out those that are soft. Put those which are left in fresh water and leave them in this twenty-four hours, change again to fresh water, and let them lie in this another day.
Line your kettle with grape leaves and place the cucumbers on these, sprinkling each layer of them with a little powdered alum, pour in cold water, lay several thicknesses of the grape leaves over the top, cover the kettle closely, and simmer slowly for six hours. Don’t let the kettle boil. Take out the cucumbers, which by now should be well greened, throw them in cold water, and leave them in this for a couple of hours. Prepare a pickle vinegar of one cup of sugar, a dozen blades of mace, a dozen and a half whole allspice, three dozen each of whole black peppers and cloves and four quarts of vinegar. Boil all these together for five minutes after the boil begins and pour over the drained cucumbers, which you should have packed into small jars. The vinegar must go on them scalding hot and the jars be covered closely. Let them season for at least two months before eating them, and keep in a dark, cool place.
MIXED PICKLES: Make these by the preceding recipe, using string beans, nasturtium pods, clusters of cauliflower, and tiny onions. The onions and the cauliflower do not need to be greened.