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Dill Pickle Recipe: Jar-by-Jar, Refrigerator

Looking for an easy pickle recipe? If you want to make one jar of refrigerator pickles or five, this is the perfect refrigerator pickle recipe.

What Foods Say ‘Summer’ To You?

Watermelon surely is on that list, in addition to ice cream and great hamburgers…right? What about barbecue? Not to get sidetracked, but here is a perfectly reliable pulled and smoked pork recipe.

Dill pickles can be enjoyed year-round, thanks to the science of preserving foods. But, making refrigerator dill pickles is surely a summer thing given the abundance of fresh cucumbers that are hanging from the vines in our gardens.

Jars of dill Pickles

Hi Lynn,
Tried this recipe for the first time this year. We had planted a smaller variety of cucumbers and grew dill in our raised beds garden. I was so excited to try this recipe because I’ve never made pickles and this recipe seemed so simple and easy. It did not disappoint. My whole family is loving these pickles. I cut some in chips, spears, and sandwich stuffer sizes. My husband is ready to plant next year’s garden so that I can make more. Thank you for sharing this with us.


I enjoy giving detailed information in my posts to lead my readers through any questions that might pop up. If you’re just here for the printable recipe, use Jump to Recipe to head straight there!

Sweet or Dill Pickles?

Are you a dill pickle person or a sweet pickle person? I am fully, without equivocation, in the dill pickle camp. There are very few foods I really don’t like, but sweet pickles and bread and butter pickles are at the top of that list (sorry if I offend any of my sweet pickle friends, but sugar and pickles just don’t mix).

But, dill pickles? They are at the top of my ‘foods I love’ list..and that list of my family members as well….hence, the quest for the elusive, easy dill pickle recipe.

And not just any dill pickle recipe…we are die-hard Clausen-type pickle people…the refrigerated kind of pickle that crunches when you bite into it. Refrigerator pickles only; no heated pickles in this house.

Did you know? We have William Shakespeare to thank for the phrase, “in a pickle.” “How camest thou in this pickle?” and “I have been in such a pickle” are lines in his play, The Tempest.

So with a booming cucumber crop this summer, we are “in a (happy) pickle!” (you knew it was coming!)

Fresh cucumbers

Do You Grow Cucumbers?

Maximize your cucumber harvest by planting some of these great cucumber companion plants with them.

sliced cucumbers ready for brining

How to Choose the Best Cucumbers for Dill Pickles

Pickling cucumbers, also known as Kirby cucumbers or picklers, are the best choice for pickling. They are typically shorter, stubbier, and have bumpy or spiky skin. These cucumbers are specifically bred for pickling and will yield the best results.

When choosing your Kirby’s, keep these criteria in mind:

Opt for Firmness: Select cucumbers that are firm and free from any soft spots or blemishes. Avoid cucumbers that feel soft or have wrinkled skin, as they may not hold up well during the pickling process.

Size Matters: Choose cucumbers that are the right size for your pickling jars and personal preference. Generally, smaller to medium-sized cucumbers are preferred for pickling. They should be small enough to fit easily in the jars but large enough to be enjoyable to eat as pickles. Aim for cucumbers that are around 3 to 6 inches (7.5 to 15 cm) in length.

Consider the Seeds: While pickling cucumbers naturally have fewer seeds, it’s still a good idea to check the cucumber’s ends. Cut off a small portion and take a look inside. If the cucumber has large and developed seeds, it might be destined for the salad instead of the pickling jar. Look for cucumbers with smaller seeds or less developed ones.

Check the Skin: The skin of the cucumbers should be smooth, without any blemishes or discoloration. You can score or slice the skin to allow the brine to penetrate better, but the skin should still be relatively intact.

Jars of Pickles
Refrigerator Dill Pickles

With my three pickler vines, I get a steady stream of about 2-3 cukes every other day.  I like to can them as soon as possible to keep them as crisp as possible, which necessitates putting up a jar every other day or so.

Keep a Jar of Brine in The Refrigerator

Because it seems I’m always putting up a jar or two of pickles, I realized I needed a refrigerator dill pickle recipe that helps me quickly can the cukes when harvested.  This small batch dill pickle recipe is easily scaled depending on the number of cukes I need to pickle. It is based on a variety of recipes I have used in my quest to replicate the Clausen pickle tastes that we love. It also has the additional benefit of leaving out some of the unnecessary (in my book) additives that even my beloved Clausens contain.

The element of this pickle recipe that allows for the quick processing of your picklers is to mix up a batch of the brine (water, vinegar, and salt) and keep it in your fridge, which is perfect for large or small batch dill pickles. Once you have enough cucumbers for a jar (2-3 picklers typically fill a pint jar), it’s just a matter of preparing your cukes, adding some garlic, mustard seed, and dill, and filling your jar with your prepared brine…and presto…Refrigerator Dill Pickles!  Done and Done!


Ingredients for Dill Pickles

  • Pickling Cucumbers: As mentioned earlier, pickling cucumbers like Kirbys are the best choice for this recipe. You’ll need 2-3 of them for each pint, prepared in your desired form: sliced, spears, or whole.
  • Dill: The recipe calls for 4 sprigs of dill per pint. You can use fresh dill weed or dill heads. Dill adds a distinctive flavor to the pickles and is a classic ingredient in dill pickle recipes.
  • Garlic: You’ll need 1/2 to 1 clove of garlic, sliced for each jar. Garlic adds a delicious savory flavor to the pickles. Adjust the amount based on your preference for garlic intensity.
  • Mustard Seed: The recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon of mustard seed for each pint jar. Mustard seeds are commonly used in pickling recipes to add a subtle tang and aroma. They also help enhance the overall flavor of the pickles.
  • Water: You’ll need 2 quarts (8 cups) of cold water for the brine. Make sure the water is cold, as hot water can affect the crispness of the cucumbers.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: The recipe calls for 6 ounces of apple cider vinegar for the brine. Apple cider vinegar provides a slightly sweet and fruity flavor to the pickles. You can use plain white vinegar as a substitute if you prefer, but make sure your vinegar has an acidity of at least 5%.
  • Pickling Salt: You’ll need 3 ounces of pickling salt for the brine. Pickling salt is specifically formulated for pickling and doesn’t contain any additives like iodine or anti-caking agents. It helps preserve the cucumbers and enhance their flavor.

This Chart Will Come in Handy!

Scaling your refrigerator dill pickle recipe, Small Batch or Large, is made infinitely easier with this equivalents chart. I laminated mine and keep it on the inside door of a frequently used cabinet.

Measurement Equivalents Chart

Frequently Asked Questions About Refrigerator Dill Pickles

How long do homemade dill pickles last?

Homemade dill pickles, when properly sealed and stored, can last for several months in the refrigerator. The flavor and texture may gradually change over time, but they can still be safe to consume. It’s important to check for any signs of spoilage, such as mold, off-putting odor, or fizzy bubbles, before consuming.

Can I adjust the amount of dill and garlic in the recipe?

Yes, the amount of dill and garlic can be adjusted based on personal preference. If you prefer a stronger dill or garlic flavor, you can add more. Similarly, if you prefer a milder flavor, you can reduce the amounts. It’s always a good idea to start with the recommended amounts in the recipe and then adjust to your taste in subsequent batches.

What are the best cucumbers for dill pickles?

When it comes to making dill pickles, the best cucumbers to use are pickling cucumbers, also known as Kirby cucumbers or sometimes called “picklers.” These cucumbers are specifically bred for pickling and have certain qualities that make them ideal for this purpose. Here are a few reasons why pickling cucumbers are preferred:
Size: Pickling cucumbers are usually smaller than slicing cucumbers, making them easier to fit into jars and ensuring that the pickles are the right size for snacking or adding to sandwiches.
Texture: Pickling cucumbers have a crisp texture that holds up well during pickling. This allows them to retain a satisfying crunch even after they have been pickled.
Skin: The skin of pickling cucumbers is thinner and contains fewer seeds than other varieties. This is desirable because it produces a more tender pickle with a smoother texture.
Flavor: Pickling cucumbers have a slightly tart and refreshing flavor that complements the brine and dill seasonings used in dill pickle recipes.

How long does it take for a cucumber to become a dill pickle?

The time it takes to make dill pickles can vary depending on the recipe and the method you choose. Generally, the pickling process takes anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Quick refrigerator pickles can technically be ready in just a few hours, though I would wait four to five days for the best flavor.

Refrigerator Dill Pickles Recipe, Small Batch or Large Batch

That Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving is my bible. Even if I think I could make the recipe in my sleep, I double-check myself against the Ball Book…that whole botulism thing. If you are new to canning, it should be your very first purchase. My cookbook library inventory recently expanded with the addition of The All New Ball Book Of Canning And Preserving: Over 350 of the Best Canned, Jammed, Pickled, and Preserved Recipes!

A case of ball wide mouth pint jars.

go-to canning jars

  • wide-mouth makes canning easier.
  • use for water bath canning or just refrigerating.
  • BPA-free lids
  • freezer safe for 18 months
Jars of dill Pickles

Refrigerator Dill Pickles Recipe, Small Batch or Large

This pickle recipe will make it easy for you to put up a jar at a time of crisp and dilly delicious refrigerator dill pickles. The ingredients listed are for each pint of homemade dill pickles, making it easy to scale for large or small batch.
4.39 from 204 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Canning, Preserving, Jam + Jellies
Cuisine American
Servings 1 Jar
Calories 9 kcal


  • 2-3 pickling cucumbers prepared as you wish…sliced, spears or whole
  • 4 sprigs of dill
  • 1/2-1 clove of garlic sliced
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seed
  • Pickle Brine

Pickle Brine

  • 2 quarts cold water
  • 6 ounces apple cider vinegar
  • 3 ounces pickling salt


  • Wash your pickles well and remove the blossom end.
  • Slice them as desired…I typically keep sliced, spears and whole pickles on hand so I check my pickle stash and see which type we are low on.
  • Add mustard seed, garlic and dill sprigs to your jar, then put your prepared cucumbers in.
  • Add the brine to fill the jar and cover your cucumbers. If I have some parts of the cucumbers that rise above the brine, I snip of a piece of the cuke so that all parts of all cucumbers are submerged below the brine.
  • Put lids on your jars and refrigerate. Because these are not being canned and instead kept in your refrigerator, you don't need special jars…just make sure the jars and their lids are clean.
  • Our jars typically don't make it past one week before someone starts snacking, but if you can let them sit for 2-3 weeks they have more time for the flavor to develop. I've read that you should consume them before 3-4 months…we've never had any that last that long.

Pickle Brine

  • Mix all ingredients in a pot over low heat and stir until salt is dissolved.
  • Rremove from heat and chill.
  • Store in a container in your refrigerator.


Serving: 1gCalories: 9kcalCarbohydrates: 1gSodium: 96mg
Keyword canning, cucumbers, pickles, preserve, refrigerator, small batch
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Other Pickle Recipes

If you are in the mood to pickle everything, check out this recipe for Pickled Jalapeno Peppers, another easy recipe for first-time canners, or for a holiday treat try these Spiced Pickled Cranberries. And, if you feel like being a tad more adventurous, give this recipe for pickled blueberries a try! The pickled blueberries are a little sweet, a little sour, a little tangy, a little fruity…and a lot yummy!

So there you have it my friends…easy refrigerator dill pickles recipe for small batch or large batches. I plucked 3 picklers off of the vines last night, so I’m heading to the kitchen to add to my dill pickle inventory. And since Kate (aka ‘The Incredible Dill Pickle Consumer’) is home for a couple of days my refrigerator pickle inventory will be quickly depleted.

Bookmark this page or pin the following image to refer back to this Dill Pickle Recipe in the future.

jar of dill pickles, with a container of pickle brine in the background.
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    1. Hi Kathy, I have not tried it on okra! In doing a quick search on the internet, it seems that the recipes for refrigerator okra pickles call for much more vinegar than what I use for my cucumber pickles. BUT…there’s no reason you couldn’t mix up a batch of the brine in the recipes for okra pickles and keep that in your fridge…right?

      Let me know what you do…I’m curious.

      Thanks for stopping by.


    2. Thank you so much for this recipe. My potted cucumber plants are going crazy this year. (Last year they were devastated by a groundhog, so I had to put them on tables he couldn’t reach.) I resorted to freezer pickles, because my cucumbers were piling up and I needed to do something with them and my fresh dill plants before I went away for two weeks. I am hoping my plants are surviving under a neighbor’s care while I am gone. If so, I will now have a recipe for the rest of the summer.

      1. Hey there BetteAnn, I do hope you foiled that pesky groundhog! If you do have a plethora of cucumbers, then, by all means, this recipe will serve you perfectly! Sadly, with our move, we don’t have a garden this year…but definitely planning for next year and anxious to get my cucumbers going.

        Hope you are enjoying your vacation, wherever you are.



    1. Oh good! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. I just sent a couple of jars back with my daughter, so I hope to be replenishing my stock soon. It does seem that they are getting eaten quicker than I can make them and I don’t think any of my jars have made it to the 2 week point yet!

      Thanks for stopping by and wishing you a fantastic Wednesday!

      Hugs, Lynn

  1. These sound like the perfect pickles, nice and crunchy. Thanks for the history lesson too, this post was so much fun to read!

  2. My hubby loves pickles so I will have to try t his recipe for sure! They look so delicious! I love learning all the pickle facts! Thanks for sharing this!

    1. Carolann…I hope he enjoys them as much as we do. In fact, we were away from home for just the past 2 days and I’ve got to get busy pickling all the little cucumbers that ripened in my absence.

      Have a great weekend.

      Hugs, Lynn

    1. Sam, when your summer rolls around you’ll have to give them a try…so easy and so tasty. And can be altered with more or less garlic and spices to suit your taste.

      Hugs, Lynn

  3. I love dill pickles, and bread and butter pickles, but don’t care for sweet pickles. I have been wanting to try and make some spicy refrigerator pickles. Years ago I use to can pickles, but this would be so much easier. I will have to try these.

    1. Linda, these pickles are so very easy to make that it’s almost embarrassing…you can have fresh pickles on your table with just the littlest bit of effort. Hope you all enjoy them.

      Hugs, Lynn

  4. Thank you for this. My pickle vines don’t produce enough pickles to do large batches of them, and this looks like a great idea. I’m also looking for Sweet Pickle Refrigerator recipes that are tried and true.

    1. Hi Lynne, it’s perfect for small batches of cukes…that’s exactly why I bottle the brine. Good luck with the sweet pickles! And happy canning.

      Hugs, Lynn

  5. These look great! Is there a good way to get bread and butter pickles super thin? It seems like the ones you have are a little more thick than my family usually likes.. Maybe a food processor slicer or a mandoline? Not sure, gonna have to do some research! Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. Hmmm…I would guess that a mandoline would work…I can’t think why it wouldn’t. If you don’t mind, do pop back in and let us know what worked for you.

      Have a wonderful week,

      Hugs, Lynn

  6. So we made it 8 days before “tasting” them, aka eating 1/2 the jar. My husband claimed them to be the best pickles ever. The cucumbers we used are from a neighbor who is practically dumping them on us, as mine didn’t do well this year, she used the disclaimer that they aren’t very flavorful and probably better off as chicken food but I just couldn’t do that with all of them. We will be making at least a few more batches….but I suppose we will give some to the chickens for her too.

    1. OH YIPPEE Lauren!

      You just made my day! I am so glad you and yours are loving these pickles…my family certainly does!

      And I’ve had my share of ‘yucky’ cucumbers as well. Gardening is such a gamble some times. But thankfully you’re neighbor needed to offload some!

      Thank you so much for popping in and letting me know how much you all enjoyed them.

      Many hugs, Lynn

      So glad you’ll save a few for the chicks…they need yummies too!

  7. Just wondering if dried dill seeds can be used instead of fresh dill sprigsand what the equivalent would be. Your thoughts?

    1. Good question Jenny!

      According to The National Center for Home Food Preservation, “For each quart, try 3 heads of fresh dill or 1 to 2 tablespoons dill seed (dill weed = 2 tablespoons).”

      I hope you enjoy your yummy pickles my friend!

      hugs, Lynn

      1. This is my first venture making pickles. I picked your recipe because my garden only has enough pickling cucumbers for a jar or two. I was wondering though, I’ve read other recipes and they say boil your brine, why don’t you boil the brine for this recipe? What is the purpose to boiling brine for refrigerator pickles?

        1. Hi Liz,

          Using a hot brine over your cukes will result in a softer pickle…less crunch. With this recipe and procedure, you will achieve more of a crisp ‘Clausen’ like pickle. These are solely refrigerator pickles and won’t be shelf-stable like those processed with hot brine.

          Hope this answers your question. Do let me know if you have more!



  8. Wondering if I could use white vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar, we really love dill pickles, won’t the a.c.v. make them sweet. Thanks, Louanne.

    1. Good morning Louanne! Hope you enjoyed a wonderful weekend.

      You could surely sub the ACV as long as it is also 5% acidity. Think it would be a little ‘mellower’ in flavor and might also darken the cukes…but nothing ventured, nothing gained…right?

      I’d love to hear how they turn out for you.

      Have a great day my friend.

      Hugs, Lynn

  9. What would you suggest for making a “spicy” version of these pickle? ~ Just sliced the cukes, and am getting everything else ready for our pickles!

    1. Hi Jayne!

      I would add some dried pepper flakes…I’d probably go ½ tsp, but you could surely go hotter.

      Happy Pickling my friend!

      Hugs, Lynn

  10. Hi there! I just whipped up a batch of these bad boys and I’m super excited. I unfortunately didn’t read the whole post and just now realized I was supposed to use filtered ACV. I caught it in time to run the whole brine through a fine strainer but out of curiosity, will this ruin the pickles? I’m assuming since they’re kept in the refrigerator, there wouldn’t be any fermentation happening…Thanks in advance!

    1. Hey Lauren, you will be fine with your unfiltered ACV…the critical thing is that it is at least 5% acidity. I’m so jealous! I didn’t get any significant canning done this summer with our moves…but already thinking ahead to next year.




  11. these look good. i will check to see if Walmart has any pickling cucumbers in their produce section. how do you make the refrigerator pickles crispy? do you put something in the brine or is it the type of pickling cucumbers you use? i do want to try this recipe, i like claussen Pickles a lot.

    1. Good Morning Heather,

      Great question. Because we aren’t heating the pickles at all, they do remain crispy and crunchy! I do keep my pickle brine in the refrigerator so that when I pour it over the cukes, it is good and cold.

      Have fun pickling my friend!

      Hugs, Lynn

  12. I love dill pickles, and my husband loves them even more!! I am with you–no sweet pickles or bread and butter pickle. I think this comes and a perfect time as I am planning out my garden and I will be sure to get some of these pickles to plant this year. My husband loves Classen pickles and my grocery store has been out of stock for about two weeks now. I think my husband is about to start going through detox symptoms from not having his pickles. They are expensive to buy, so I will love it if this recipe is like

    1. Hi Mary! You just reminded me that I need to get some cucumber as well! I’ve been meaning to, but it slipped my mind. Thanks for the reminder. And poor hubby! I do believe pickle withdrawal is a real thing!

      Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do.



  13. 5 stars
    We are pickle fans, all kinds, sweet, bread and butter, dill, spicy (well my kids, not me)! We have a dear friend from Czech who gives us a jar of pickles every year and they are the BEST! She throws in carrots and something else too! So I am thrilled to try these, they came out so yummy!

  14. I am terrible with measurements. If I want to make just 1 pint jar. Could you tell me the measurements for the brine for just 1 pint jar so I don’t have all the left over brine?

    1. Good Morning Holly,

      For a pint, try this:

      1 1/4 cupswater
      1 ounce apple cider vinegar
      1 tablespoon pickling salt

      Happy Canning!

        1. Hi Kathy,

          Yes, that is the amount of water! There are certainly more vinegary recipes out there, if that is what you prefer. But, you may just want to try one jar to see what you think. For one pint, the measurements for the brine would be:
          1 1/4 cup water
          1 ounce apple cider vinegar
          1 tablespoon pickling salt

          Let me know what you think!

          Thanks, Lynn

  15. I may be misreading this but 2 quarts of water for the brine is 8 cups. For only making 1-2 mason jars, that’s a TON of leftover brine. Is the measurement for the brine meant for a large batch?

    1. Hi Lindsay, You are right…I clearly need to clarify. The recipe for the brine makes enough for several pints. I keep it in the fridge and fill the jars as I pick the cucumbers. Thanks for the heads up and happy pickling!



  16. 5 stars
    I haven’t tried it yet but I will in the next day or so. This method seems tailor-made for how we use pickles and it looks like it can be varied easily by changing the spices. This is the pickle method I have been searching for!

  17. If the ratio for one pint is 1 1/2 oz water to 1 oz vinegar, why the great variance for the original recipe: 2 quarts water, 6 oz vinegar ? I just made the large brine and fingers crossed they turn out.

    1. Hi Barbara, that ‘1 1/4 ounce water’ was a typo…it is actually 1 1/4 cups of water to 1-ounce vinegar. I hadn’t realized that typo was in there, so thanks for pointing that out. I went back in and corrected it…I can understand the confusion! In fact, I put up a jar of pickles this morning using the large brine recipe. Enjoy.

  18. 4 stars
    I’m new to the making of pickles. Can’t wait to try this recipe! Do I boil the brine so the salt dissolves?

  19. These look great! Was just having the pickle conversation with my brother this week. I hate bread and butter pickles, they literally make me gag. I do like little sweet pickles, but refrigerator dills are by far my fave! If I ever find any in a restaurant I find that if I rave they maybe will give me extras. Sometimes I wine to get them, and sometimes they will give me some to take home! Maybe to get me outta there! HA! Thank you thank you; can’t wait to try these!

    1. Oh girl…Bread and Butter Pickles are the absolute worst! But, I’m not a fan of sweet pickles either. And I really only like crisp dill pickles…I guess you could call me a pickle diva! You’re a hardcore pickle lover if you do ‘take out pickles’! You go girl!

      I hope you enjoy this recipe, my friend.



  20. Hi Lynn,
    Tried this recipe for the first time this year. We had planted a smaller variety of cucumbers and grew dill in our raised beds garden. I was so excited to try this recipe because I’ve never made pickles and this recipe seemed so simple and easy. It did not disappoint. My whole family is loving these pickles. I cut some in chips, spears and sandwich stuffer sizes. My husband is ready to plant next year’s garden, so that I can make more. Thank you for sharing this with us.

    1. Hi Lynn,

      Oh yippee! I’m so glad your family enjoyed these pickles as much as ours did. I was able to put up quite a few pickles before some mildew of some sort attacked our cukes! But we have enough that we will still be eating them for several months.

      I really appreciate you taking the time to post your review! Thanks so much.



  21. Made some of these pickles 3 weeks ago. Finally opened the jars to try them and wow!!! They are delicious!! So easy and taste wonderful! I made some more today. Thank you for sharing !!

    1. Oh YAY! I LOVE it when people love our recipes as much as we do! Sadly, our garden was nothing short of a HOT MESS this year, and I didn’t get one cucumber before my vines all died back! We had some fungus sweep through while we were away on vacay…there’s nothing sadder! 😥 But I’ll live vicariously through your cucumber and pickle joy! 🥒

      Hugs, Lynn

  22. 3 stars
    This recipe is a bit confusing. I made the brine as specified here, but don’t understand which jars to use. Being that one is supposed to add dill, mustard seed and garlic to the jars, size matters. I have several sizes of mason canning jars.
    Also, only 2 to 3 cucumbers for all that brine!? Or is this recipe making EXTRA brine to store in the fridge to make pickles as you go?
    I garden extensively. The only pickles we grow are Marketmore heirlooms because they’re the only ones that never failed us in the past decade. I tried growing other varieties, including pickling cucumbers, but was not impressed, they never grew well, so Marketmore will have to do. I’ve used them for refrigerator pickles before and they were great. I lost the recipe so stumbled on your blog. Sounds good but jar size specification would help.

    1. Hi Eve,

      This recipe makes extra brine that you can keep it in your fridge and pull out as needed when you have enough cukes to pickle. I hope that clears up any confusion.

  23. I am so looking forward to making these pickles again this year! I gave many jars away last summer and got so many compliments and requests for more, even from 2 people who do not like pickles!

    1. Thanks for the lovely compliment, Pam. And well done for you that you converted two non-picklers! Despite the deer’s best efforts, I have managed to put up two jars of these pickles already this summer. My cukes are really trying to make a comeback from the shearing they took from our local deer…fingers crossed.

      And thanks for taking the time to write in!

      Have a wonderful day.


4.39 from 204 votes (199 ratings without comment)

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