Day 1: Use large cukes or watermelon rinds, peeled, seeded, and cut into desired shape. If you use wide-mouth jars, the rings would be a fancier presentation. Mix lime and 1 gallon water, pour over cucumbers (or melon rinds). Soak in refrigerator for 24 hours.
Day 2: Drain and rinse well. Cover with cold water and soak for at least 3 hours. Drain. Mix together 1/2 C vinegar, food coloring, and alum. Add to cukes in a large pot. Add water to cover and simmer for 2 hours. Drain. While cukes are simmering, mix together 1-1/4 c. each of vinegar and water; add candies and allow to sit, stirring occasionally. When simmering is close to done, add sugar and cinnamon sticks to vinegar, water, candy mixture and boil until candies and sugar are dissolved. Pour over drained hot cukes. Refrigerate overnight.
Day 3: Drain syrup into a heavy saucepan, bring to a boil, then pour over cukes. Back to refrigerator.
Day 4: Drain syrup into a heavy saucepan, bring to a boil, then pour over cukes. Back to refrigerator.
Day 5: Heat cakes in syrup until boiling. Pack into sterile jars and seal. Chill before serving.