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  • George’s Pickles

    December 1, 2009

    It’s going to be photos and recipes this week because it’s that crazy busy time of year.  Hall decking leaves little time for my ministry of writing mediocre drivel for the world wide web.

    Tomorrow or the next day, because I like to be precise — and because I like you! — I’m going to show you how to make crystallized ginger which is lovely in a cup of hot tea.  It’s a bit of trouble to make but keeps well and I think it’s worth it.

    But today it’s about the pickles…

    This is a recipe that I got from my father-in-law George who has so many recipes in the church cookbook that they finally had to set a limit.  These pickles are super easy to make, keep well and make a nice little hostess gift for pickle lovers.  They are also great in tuna salad or in potato salad or just on the side.  Even people who don’t really like pickles usually like these.

    You will need three ingredients — pickles, sugar and Tabasco.


    Take a regular old jar of pickles, any old kind will do. Drain off all the liquid.


    Chop them into thick slices and return them to the jar.


    Fill up the jar with sugar. It will seem like a crazy amount of sugar, but trust me on this.  This was a 46 oz. jar and I used at least three cups of sugar.  Add about 1/4 bottle of Tabasco for a 46 oz. jar of pickles — more if you like the taste of fire, less if you don’t.   In about an hour or so, all of the sugar will dissolve.


    Set the pickles aside for one week.  I turn my jar from time to time throughout the week to distribute the sugar and Tobasco. George says you don’t have to, but it gives me something to do.

    I know they sound kind of awful and at first they even look kind of awful, but in one week and you will have a jar of delightful firey-sweet crunchy pickles.


    1. tom says:

      I gotta say… it sounds intriguing. Sugar and Tobasco brought together with the taste of pickles just opens right up for a wide variety of culinary possibilities, aside from just eating. Will have to try this.

      December 1st, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    2. Kay says:

      This sounds really good. I LOVE pickles! So do you use dill pickles? : )

      * * *
      Actually I do use dill pickles. George says you can use any kind of pickles, but I’ve always used dill.

      December 1st, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    3. Rachel says:

      Do you refrigerate the pickles during this process? It didn’t seem like it from your instructions, but it seems a little strange to me…

      * * *
      Nope, you can leave them right out on the counter. The acidic combo of Tabasco and sugar would probably kill just about anything. I usually put them in the fridge when the week is up and after the sugar dissolves.

      December 1st, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    4. Stacey says:

      George must be a pretty interesting guy…
      I love DILL pickles, —
      I think I will reserve me judgement until I get around to making them…!
      Still, sounds very interesting…

      * * *
      George is awesome and I’m so lucky to have him for my daddy-in-law.

      The first time I tried them I thought they were so good and then George told me how he made them and I thought “Are you kidding me?” But sure enough, it works. They key is getting the Tabasco to suit your taste. I like them hot, AD not so much.

      December 1st, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    5. deb says:

      My mom makes these….easy-peasy!! And absolutely, scrumpdilly-ishous!!!! When making them for the holidays, you can also add a bit of red food coloring (if you don’t object to the dye….lol); makes them very festive.

      December 1st, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    6. Julie M says:

      Do you think they would work with Splenda? DH is diabetic and all that sugar would surely do him in :~)

      December 1st, 2009 at 11:03 pm

    7. Melanie says:

      I really enjoy your ministry of mediocre drivel and hope that the Lord does not call you to leave it anytime soon.

      The pickles sound weird, but intriguing enough that I may try them. Do you prefer a certain pickle brand? I mean, do you go all-out Clausens, or cheap store brand?

      December 2nd, 2009 at 12:32 am

    8. Shiree says:

      I may just try this as a homemade Christmas present for my FIL. Sounds nummy. Thanks for the recipe!

      December 2nd, 2009 at 1:02 am

    9. edj says:

      Yum! That sounds good actually. Do they have to be dill pickles or can I use cornichons?

      I make crystallized ginger too but have never put it in tea. Are you sure? What I do is cover it in melted dark chocolate and eat it, I mean, share it with friends. We also put it in ice-cream when Donn makes his famous coconut-camel ice cream (Ok he doesn’t anymore, that was Mauritania, where you could buy camel’s milk at the store). The leftover syrup is great over ice cream too!

      December 2nd, 2009 at 6:41 am

    10. Nan says:

      Uh-oh, my family would go mad for this! The problem with pickling is that the ENTIRE HOUSE smells like vinegar for weeks afterwards. Buying pickles and doing something nice with them sounds like a good thing!

      * * *
      No cooking, no vinegar, no pickling, no smell.

      December 2nd, 2009 at 7:26 am

    11. Brigitte says:

      Intriguing . . I’ll have to try it sometime. It never occurred to me that I could crystallize my own ginger, I’m looking forward to that one!

      As I’m also looking forward to when you have time for more mediocre drivel.

      December 2nd, 2009 at 8:32 am

    12. Julie at Elisharose says:

      Around my house these are called “Uncle Fred’s Pickles” and you are right, they are easy and awesome. Go for it people! Very yummy.

      December 2nd, 2009 at 9:31 am

    13. zoom says:

      I have had these, and they are divine!

      December 2nd, 2009 at 10:18 am

    14. Bill McNutt says:

      I’m going to have to try these. I do love me some pickles. Pickles of all kinds.

      December 2nd, 2009 at 11:27 am

    15. momof8 says:

      Ooooooooo . . . I love pickles. I learned to make my grandma’s homemade ones a few (um 16) years ago. I will have to try this! I am a pickle lover. One question though, what size bottle of tabasco is that? Again, thanks so much for sharing your recipes!

      * * *
      That is 5 oz. jar of Tabasco. To start, I would only use about 1/4 or less of the bottle of Tabasco for a 46 oz jar of pickles. After they set for a week, taste them and then add more if you want more fire. The amount of Tabasco is really to taste, so use your best judgment! I personally like to go a little crazy with the Tabasco.

      December 2nd, 2009 at 11:30 am

    16. heidig says:

      Cool recipe! As a pickle lover, I’m gonna try this. And I don’t consider what you write to be “mediocre drivel”.

      December 2nd, 2009 at 11:52 am

    17. rrmama says:

      This sounds like a little slices of heaven. I’m gonna have to try it.

      December 2nd, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    18. happy geek says:

      This Canadian is intrigued but a wee bit wary. We find ketchup spicy.
      I’m not even kidding.

      December 2nd, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    19. jean says:

      I have to honest. If anyone else suggested this recipe I would have laughed and thought it a good joke. Sugar and Tabasco sauce with pickles?

      December 2nd, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    20. Rebecca in Colorado says:

      “Hall decking leaves little time for my ministry of writing mediocre drivel for the world wide web.”

      THAT, my friend, is why we all read you. My version: “I’m too busy this week to write fun stuff for you all to read.”

      I still think back to your piece on Susan Boyle and covet your eloquence. Keep it up!

      December 2nd, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    21. Krista says:

      I bet my hubby would LOVE this… I might have to surprise him! I wonder how it would work with another kind of hot sauce since I have Dave’s Insanity Sauce on hand, but not Tabasco… I’m guessing use a lot less!

      December 2nd, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    22. Janmary, N Ireland says:

      Never made ANYTHING in my life with a pickle….wondering if I should risk it, or will my life still be complete without preserved pickles?

      December 2nd, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    23. Kathy Vaughan says:

      Keep the mediocre drivel and off-beat recipes coming! I’m partial to both of them!

      December 3rd, 2009 at 3:07 am

    24. Jenny 867-5309 says:

      You mean I can have an adult version of my beloved roller skating rink pickle?? You may have just made my year.

      December 3rd, 2009 at 10:54 am

    25. Pat says:

      Adding to my to-try list. My mother-in-law used to make the best Christmas pickles – sweet and red (used red hots) and I had good success with them once. Second batch didn’t turn out so well. Your recipe sounds easy enough for me and I like a sweet crunchy pickle!

      December 4th, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    26. Susan says:

      I have got to try this. The ginger recipe seems like a lot of trouble for someone who does not drink much, if any, hot tea. But these pickles – that I can do.

      December 7th, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    27. snarflemarfle says:

      Man, you are killing me with the recipes! First the squash enchies, then the ginger now these pickles!! Yummo!

      December 12th, 2009 at 11:32 pm

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