If your jars have a bit of haze after the water bath that is due to the mineral content int he water (hard water). Add a 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of white vinegar in the water bath and it will eliminate the haze.
To keep my 1/4 pint jars from falling out of the water canner basket, I used my pressure canner tray inside the basket and it worked like a charm!
I would like to use cinnamon oil and an find option for natural red coloring (beet powder, cranberries, etc...) Trust me you really don't want to know where red #40 comes from...
Speaking of the lime soak, I would prefer not to use lime and alum, so I might make a batch by brining and see how it affects the crispness and appearance.
Letting the cucumbers macerate in the jars for a couple weeks before opening should give the same effect--or so I hope!
DISCLAIMER--I am by no means an expert canner, these steps are merely suggestions based on existing literature and recipes. The information provided does not constitute legal or professional advice. I have done my best to provide accurate and safe techniques. I make no guarantee to the quality of your results. It is important you use proper hygiene and maintain a clean environment when food processing. Follow the recommendations for your altitude when processing.