Family Recipes

Grandma Medlin's 11 day Sweet Pickles

Small cucumbers work really well for these

Use 2 cups salt to one gallon water
Use 1 Tbsp alum to one gallon water
Use 1 3/4 cup sugar to 1 cup vinegar (white vinegar)

Day 1 - 5 - Combine salt and water to cover cucumbers and let stand for 5 days (cover with a weighted plate to hold under) Don't be discouraged this step can look ugly and scummy!
Day 6 - Drain and cover with clear boiling water
Day 7 - Drain, split cucumbers and cover with boiling water to which alum has been added (if cucumbers are large or thick you can leave this on one more day)
Day 8 - Drain and add clear boiling water
Day 9 - Put in jars, add hot mixture of sugar and vinegar. Add a tsp pickling spices to each quart.
Day 10 and 11 - Drain, reheat and pour over again. Seal.  Hold onto any extra vinegar/sugar mixture till finished in case you need more or have an accident!

Grandma is 100, she has been making these pickles "all her life", she keeps a jar out all the time and has at least one pickle with most meals.  I'm not saying that's how she lived so long, but she mowed her own lawn till last year, so eat up, it's way more fun to eat than that fish oil stuff!! 

Since I'm on a 'Pickle kick' here is my paternal Grandma's Dill Pickles
You'll never willingly eat a 'store bought' dill again!

Grandma Kiehns Dill Pickles

In each quart jar:

-1/2 clove Garlic - peeled
-Alum - the size of a small pea (this is an inexact science, relax - a little either way is okay)
-1 stalk (upper portion including seeds) of Dill (make a little mat of it in the bottom of the jar)
-put Cucumbers in jars  -  These should fit into the jar to within an inch of the neck, and pack the cucumbers in the jar pretty tight.  Tiny cucumbers can be put in the top near the neck to fill up the jar.  Nothing above the bottom of the neck.  (if your cucumbers are large you can cut into spears but pack the jars with the skin out to preserve the looks and keep seeds intact)

Liquid for 7 Quarts (please don't ask me why 7 - this Grandma is in heaven and I don't know!)

1 quart Vinegar
3 quarts Water
1 cup salt

In a large canning pot with a wire rack in the bottom - place the jars with cucumbers in them and add approx. one inch of water, slowly heat the jars.

Bring liquid to boil in separate pot and then fill jars (I use a canning funnel but putting the boiling liquid in a heat resistant pitcher is also good for directed pouring.) with liquid up to the bottom of the neck.
Set seals and rings loosely, let steam for 1/2 hour or so until cucumbers look brownish, take out of the pot (this is a good time to have a jar lifter these are hot) and using a hot pan holder and or towel - screw down the lids, as the jars cool the lids will pop and then before you put them on the shelf take the rings off.

Grandma Kiehn was a German from Russia (Volga German)
These taste like kosher or deli dills to my city friends if you are wondering what they are like. 


  1. Pardon my ignorance, Kathy but what is alum? I made lots of bottles of cucumber pickles last season so I will keep this recipe in mind for when we grow them again.

    1. "aluminum potassium sulfate" it is sold here in the US in the spice aisle and it is the stuff that makes the pickles crisp. I know there are other products out there that are supposed to do the same thing and be "better" for you - I do not know how to use them in a recipe though. I console myself that the alum didn't affect Grandma too much as she is coming up on birthday 101 in September! Sorry this took me so long to answer - I haven't figured out how to get notifications of comments yet! :)