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Prize Winning Dills

October 5, 2009


~ Patty ~


This is Patty’s post but I’m (Mary) going to butt in with a quick story she knew nothing about until I spilled the beans last week. 


Patty would make these pickles in a 5 gallon Red Wing crock when we were kids.  BIG CRISPY COLD DILLS on a hot summer day – what could be better……right before dinner – right?  We used to sneak them out of the crock and eat them while hiding in the dog house.  I can’t believe she never found out.


Patty: I made a new crock of dill pickles and took pictures…..such as they are.  You can decide if you want to use any of it.  I can’t see  anyone making Crock Dills this day and age.  (I bought a new  three gallon Redwing Pottery Stoneware crock this year for Fred for his birthday.  You know how he loves his dill pickles?!)  

Here is the recipe I improvised  from  Grandma Winker’s




‘Prize Winning Dills’.


Cucumbers, pickle size.  Enough to fill your crock.  

Grape leaves or Alum (to keep pickles crisp).  Estimate Alum the size of a pea per quart of pickles. OR Use grape leaves between each layer of pickles. 

Garlic cloves cut in half (no need to peel).  Estimate three garlic pods per quart.

Dill, fresh.  Estimate one seed head with stalk and leaves per quart.


Brine:  (I triple this for my 3 gal crock) 

3 quarts    water

1 cup        cider vinegar

1/2 cup     Kosher salt


Wash and drain cucumbers.  Pack a layer in the bottom of the crock.  Cover with a layer of grape leaves.  Cover with a layer of dill.  Sprinkle in several cloves of garlic, sliced in half.  Repeat until crock is full.





Place crock of pickles on the porch, veranda or deck or any cool location out of the sun.   Boil the brine and pour it over filled crock.  Place a plate (dinner or salad plate….not metal) over top of pickles press it down firmly to be sure all cucumbers are under the brine.   




Use a big rock to weigh the plate down to keep the pickles under the brine.  If you don’t have a rock, fill a quart jar with water, seal it tight and use it as a weight. Cover the whole thing with a clean white flour sack dish towel. 




Drape it all around so no bugs get in, but not so it’s in the brine.  Let the crock rest and work for ten days to two weeks.  Smaller cukes pickle faster than the larger ones.  Just reach in and take one out to test.

To store transfer pickles and brine to covered jars and/or non-metal containers (discard grape leaves, dill and garlic.)  Keep refrigerated.  Our ‘wine cooler’ refrigerator is being used for pickle storage.  Face it, we use more pickles than wine these days!  Sad but true.  


18 Comments leave one →
  1. foododelmundo permalink*
    October 5, 2009 5:47 am

    Pickles in the wine cooler – sounds like a good country song 😉

  2. October 5, 2009 5:51 am

    I have never made you have convinced me that its time.Figtreeapps

  3. Wanda permalink
    October 5, 2009 4:07 pm

    They look wonderful…I have some pickle eaters too so I need to try them.

  4. October 6, 2009 6:36 pm

    YUM! I used to eat pickles by the jarful lol…

  5. October 6, 2009 7:40 pm

    what a grat ida to make your own pickles!

  6. October 6, 2009 7:41 pm

    oops – great idea i meant – guess I am tired!

  7. October 6, 2009 7:55 pm

    Oh. How I love your site. I follow it regularly. This is a favorite. Can I use a really big cast iron Creuset pan? Does it have to be outside? I live in FL. It is always hot. Should I leave it inside?
    Email me and let me know.

    • foododelmundo permalink*
      October 6, 2009 9:14 pm

      Miranda – you are too kind! I’ll make sure Patty reads your question and leaves an answer here. -Mary

  8. pat permalink
    October 7, 2009 12:38 am

    Great questions, Miranda.
    I’ve always made them in a stoneware crock, but, I would think a large Creuset kettle would suffice. Just so the enamel isn’t cracked or crazed on the inside. I would wrap big, heavy, wet towels around the outside of the kettle to keep the temperature even. You don’t want that metal conducting heat into the pickles. And be sure to keep it in the shade.
    It sure would be worth a try. The only thing you have to lose are a few cucumbers.
    Let me know how yours turn out. I’m betting they’ll be great!!!

  9. pat permalink
    October 7, 2009 12:42 am

    P. S. If it’s cooler inside, maybe that would be best. Although, your house will smell like garlic dills!

    • foododelmundo permalink*
      October 7, 2009 7:23 am

      Patty – Didn’t you used to leave the first batch of the season in the laundry room? I distinctly remember snatching them from there while you were in the kitchen cooking dinner – it was tough because others were counting on me, and waiting in the dog house 😉

      • pat permalink
        October 17, 2009 12:00 am

        Probably, especially if it was hot outside. I still can’t believe you kids hid in the dog house to eat them!!!
        That’s FUNNY!!

  10. tastyeatsathome permalink
    October 7, 2009 9:55 am

    YOur pickles look good! I made pickles for the first time this summer (and posted about it) but yours look AMAZING! Grape leaves, eh? Good idea.

  11. October 7, 2009 10:06 am

    oh gosh, I am not a fan of pickles but Hurley is a huge fan of them and this is something I have to make for him.

  12. October 7, 2009 12:13 pm

    Those are beautiful. I LOVE pickles. I’ll have to try this recipe. Thank you!

  13. October 7, 2009 1:40 pm

    Ahahahahahahaha! Eating pickles in the dog house. Oh, we were crafty, wiley, naughty children. Apparently this was the most excitement we could muster up for ourselves. Those pickles sure are good, though…I’ll have to go get one out of my fridge (Patty stopped by with some the other day)!

  14. October 10, 2009 9:01 pm

    Such a funny story. I totally didn’t know this is how you make pickles.

  15. Emma permalink
    October 18, 2009 10:26 am

    yummmmmm they look soooooooooooooo gooooood

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