This recipe for open jar sweet pickles came from my great grandma on my dad's side. He has several of her old recipes and loves to experiment with them. I've never actually made these pickles--just tasted them every summer. He tells me that if you're health conscious, you can reduce the amount of sugar and salt added and it doesn't affect the taste, but that is something you'll need to experiment with since he's not sure how much he actually reduced these amounts.
-enough 4-5 inch cucumbers to fill a one gallon crock
-several heads of dill (enough to layer the bottom on a one gallon crock)
-1 stalk celery, cleaned and cut into 2 inch chunks
-3-4 thick slices of onion (about 1/2 of a small onion)
-2 quarts water
-1 quart vinegar
-3 cups sugar
-1/2 cup salt
In the bottom of a one gallon crock or glass jar, layer dill heads, celery and onion. Wash your pickles and cut into quarters lengthwise. Pack as many pickles into the crock as you can until it is about 1 inch from the top.
In a kettle, bring the water, vinegar, sugar and salt to a boil. When it starts to boil, pour the liquid over the pickles--enough to completely cover them. Put an upside down plate along with a quart jar full of water to hold the pickles down. After 24 hours, refrigerate the pickles.