Have At It: Homemade Pickles

When my dad picked me up from the airport last time I was in Denver, I was hungry. I'd arrived at the airport here in Seattle with what I thought was more than enough time to get some breakfast before my flight left but, as I discovered when the TSA agent at the front of the security line pointed it out, my boarding pass had my maiden name on it and the only thing in my wallet that said Jenny Loyd was my Denver Library card. The nice people at United airlines helped me out, but I ended up running through the terminal to catch my flight.    

My dad had a bunch of food in his car - all the things I'd asked him and my mom to have on hand when I visited, so he had something to offer me. I ended up asking for a trip to the chick-fil-a drive through, because it was one of the things I'd been craving like crazy. On that ride from the airport, my dad filled me in on his newest kitchen hobby - making pickles.

We waited until the day I was leaving to make and photograph the pickles, but we didn't end up with any real time for me to get a story out of my dad. I decided at the last minute that I wanted my mom and dad to take me to see Denver's new Union Station on our way to the airport, so my dad threw these pickles together in about 30 minutes while I packed up my bags. I snapped a few pictures and we were off.  

We strolled around the pretty new train station, took a couple of photos, and then my parents drove me out to DIA. (There was a crazy traffic jam on I-70, which I thought was going to make me miss my flight. It was a Saturday night, though, and there was NO ONE at the airport. I even got to go through the pre-check line. I highly recommend flying on Saturday nights.)

I've definitely been eating more pickles than usual since I've been pregnant, and these puppies are a pretty delicious version. Plus they're so easy! Make some. You won't be disappointed.



1.5 quarts of distilled water

1/4 cup of canning salt

2 cups of apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon of mustard seed

24 pickling cucumbers, washed

4-8 sprigs of fresh dill

16 cloves of garlic

1 jalapeno, sliced, if you want slightly spicy pickles

4 32 oz. mason jars


1. Combine the water, canning salt, apple cider vinegar, and mustard seed, and bring to a boil.

2. Place a sprig of fresh dill and 2 cloves of garlic in the bottom of each jar.

3. Add 6 cucumbers (and a slice of jalapeno, if you want) to each jar.

4. Add another sprig of dill and 2 more garlic cloves on top of the cucumbers.

5. Fill each jar with the boiled liquid mix, then leave jars uncovered (maybe lay a towel over the top) on the counter for 3 days.

6. Refrigerate, then enjoy!

One of my goals for 2014 is to write one “Have At It” post per month, to include a story from my dad’s life with one of his recipes. I figure if nothing else, it will give me some motivation to get serious about getting my dad’s stories down, even if I have to write them myself. 

Previous Have At It Posts:

Garlic Cheese Bread + Croutons

Chicken Caesar Salad

Reese's Rice Krispie Treats

Tacos and Salsa


Bean Dip Poppers

Goldrush Cookies