Springtime Refrigerator Pickles


In Colorado, springtime is a hot mess.  One day we’ll have amazing 70 degree weather and the next day, 3 feet of snow. We live near the Palmer Divide which means even more erratic weather.

Yesterday we had the perfect spring day complete with sun and 65+degrees!  When it’s so nice outside, I get an itch to make all things spring, especially in the kitchen. Our local grocery store, King Soopers, had a great deal on cucumbers – 3 for 99 cents!  I scooped up 9 and decided that pickles were in order.

If you’ve never had a homemade pickle, you have been missing out!  They are so crispy, fresh and delicious, plus super easy to make.  In fact, pickles have been a part of my life since birth.  My dad’s family is from a small town in northern North Dakota called Munich. When we would live there, the total population was around 300.

A strong farm community, the ladies planted HUGE gardens each summer.  My grandmother, Mathilda, had a superb garden and was an amazing canner.  With 13 children to feed (my dad is the oldest), it was important and necessary to grow as much food as she could.

Each Sunday afternoon, we’d gather at my grandparent’s for “lunch.” It was a time to play board games, watch a game or two on the tv and have an amazing spread of bars, sandwiches, chips and lemonade.  Pickles were a staple at each lunch.  The recipe I use is a take on my Grandma Tilly’s pickles.  I wish I’d asked her for the recipe before she died.  To this day, when I bite into a pickle, I think of her!

The internet has MANY refrigerator pickle recipes. I’ve found that most of them are loaded with sugar. In my eternal quest to limit refined sugar in this household, I took several recipes including my grandmother’s, combined them into this master.


If you like sweet things, feel free to dump in more sugar.  However, I’m telling you it’s not necessary.  Fresh cucumbers, organic is best, combined with a few things from your pantry will guarantee a perfect combination.

Tilly’s Refrigerator Pickles

6 cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

2 cups vinegar

1 cup sugar (I use coconut sugar)

1/3 cup salt (kosher salt is best)

1 Tbls turmeric, ground

1 Tbls mustard seed

2 tsp dill (if dried) , 2 sprigs of fresh dill (or one per  mason quart jar)

Mix everything together EXCEPT the cucumbers and onion.  Place half of cut cucumbers and onions in each mason quart jar.  Cover with liquid mixture.  Cap the jar and stick in your refrigerator.  Leave for two days. After that, happily consume.

Pickles can stay in the fridge for a month.



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