Cinnamon Cucumber Rings
From the Kitchen of Kathy Lingle of Metropolis, IL
1 Cup Pickling Lime
1 Gallon + 2 Cups Water
1 Cup + 2 Cups Vinegar
1 Oz. Red Food Coloring
8 Cups Sugar
8 Cinnamon Sticks
12 Ox. Package of Red Hot Candies
1 Tbsp. Alum
7 Lbs. Large Cucumbers (Over Ripe is Fine.)
Wash, peel, and slice the cucumbers to be ½ to ¾ inch thick. Carefully remove the seeds from the middle. Mix 2 cups of pickling lime with 2 gallons of water in a stoneware or big enamel ware container. (Do not use an aluminum container.) Add the cucumber rings to the container and allow to soak over night.
Remove cucumbers from lime water and rinse them 3 times in fresh, cold water. Cover rings in ice cold water, and let them rest for 3 hours. Drain rings and place in a large enamel or stoneware pot. In a bowl, combine 1 cup vinegar, alum, and red food coloring. Pour mixture over rings, then add enough water to go over the top of the rings. Place pot on the stove and let simmer for 2 hours.
While the rings simmer, create a syrup by combining 2 cups vinegar, 2 cups water, 8 cinnamon sticks, and 8 cups sugar. Place syrup over low heat and add the package of Red Hot candies. Stir until candies are all melted and syrup is well combined. Pour syrup over cucumbers and let stand for 24 hours.
Drain syrup back into a large pot and bring to a boil. Place cucumbers in jars and pour hot syrup over slices. Place 1 cinnamon stick fom the mixture into each of the jars. Place hot lids and rings on jars. Make sure to secure lids tightly. Set each jar on a towel to cool and seal. You should end with about 2 gallons of prepared rings.