Sunday Sentimental Recipe: Grandma Velma’s Refrigerator Pickles

I am lucky to have many family recipes passed down through the generations. Most of the women in my family were amazing cooks, and they also knew how to stretch a budget and feed a family for a very low cost. The origins of these recipes are pretty much unknown. Most are scrawled on cards, and very few say how the recipe was discovered initially. Dinners in their homes were always amazing. Occasionally, I will share one of these family treasures with you!

My Grandma, Velma, was an amazing hand in the kitchen. I remember getting off the bus after school, running to the house and walking in the back porch. We always knew if Grandma was there that day because the house smelled like a combination of lovely food and cleaning products. My Mom worked full-time, so Grandma Velma would often come over and spend the day helping out. We were always thrilled when she was there.

In the fall, these Pickles could be found in all of our fridges. They are easy to make, and a great way to use up the last of the harvest on a day that you just don’t feel like canning. Refrigerator pickles are great on sandwiches or as a side. My kids love them alone as a snack and we add extra garlic and onions because they love to fish those out. This recipe is for a gallon-sized jar, so save your big jars. I find the pickle jars from bulk retailers are perfect. You can see that I am using a one liter jar in this recipe. I was at the end of my cucumbers and wanted to squeak out one last jar of these for the cold winter to come. I simply halved this recipe for my use, but am sharing the recipe with you as is. Play with this and feel free to add what you like. Make it your own family recipe! It is very versatile!


Velma’s “Everything in Cold” Refrigerator Pickles(Makes 1 Gallon)

20 medium (5-6 inch) cucumbers

1 large onion (yellow or white is ideal)

2 garlic cloves (I use 4, but my family LOVES garlic)

1 Tablespoon Peppercorns (optional)

1 Tablespoon Red Pepper Flakes (optional)

2 Cups White Vinegar

6 Tablespoons Salt

4 Cups Water

8 Heads of Dill (from your garden is great, but store bought is fine!)


Slice or Quarter (in spears) your cucumbers. Slice your onion. Place half your Dill and seasoning  (except salt)in bottom of jar, then begin tightly packing in cucumbers and onions. Be sure to tightly pack into jar leaving little extra space. Place other half of seasonings and dill to the top of the jar. Add salt to the top of the jar. Pour in Vinegar. Fill to the top with water. Close lid and place in refrigerator. Shake every 2 days. Ready to eat in 10 days.


We have found these pickles last up to 6 months. But, honestly, they never last that long. My kids want these pickles long before the 10 day waiting period is up. I generally make 2 large jars each fall, and they are almost always completely gone by Christmas. That’s a lot of pickles..but we really love the simplicity of these!


NOTE: The jar used in this recipe was provided to me free by Simple Flow. You can find the set of these jars here: Simple Flow Jars (not an affiliate link). I was impressed by this set of jars, and have been using them for multiple purposes. I was super excited to use them for this recipe, because they work great for it. I had less cucumbers to use up, but they also work great because the smaller size jar is easier for my kids to lift out of the fridge.  I am glad I got the chance to try them, and would recommend them to others!



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