Your cucumbers should be well shaped, and all of the same size. Spread the bottom and sides of a preserving kettle with a thick layer of vine leaves. Then put in the cucumbers with a little alum broken small. Cover them thickly with vine leaves, and then with a dish. Fill up the kettle with water, and let them hang over a slow fire till nest morning, but do not allow the water to boil. Next day, take them out, cool them, and repeat the process with fresh vine leaves, till the cucumbers are a fine green. When cold drain them, cut a small piece out of the flat side, and extract the seeds. Wipe the cucumbers in a dry cloth, and season the inside with a mixture of bruised mace and grated lemon-peel. Tie on with a packthread the bit that was cut out.
Weigh them, and to every pound of cucumbers allow a pound of loaf-sugar. Put the sugar into a preserving kettle, a half pint of water to each pound, and the beaten white of an egg to every four pounds. Boil and skim the sugar till quite clear, adding sliced ginger and lemon parings to your taste. When cool, pour it over the cucumbers, and let them lie in it two days, keeping them covered with a plate, and a weight on it to press it down. Then boil up the syrup again, adding one-half as much sugar, etc. as you had at first; and at the last the juice and grated peel of two lemons for every six cucumbers. The lemon must boil in the syrup but ten minutes. Then strain the syrup all over the cucumbers, and put them up in glass jars.
If they are not quite clear, boil them in a third syrup.
Small green melons may be preserved in this manner.