Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Story of Mickle's Sweet Pickles

I made my first batch of pickles when I was pregnant with Henry, when I craved (daily) my weight in pickles and ice cream. And not just any pickles. My grandmother Shirley's homemade sweet pickles. I'm not a fan of store bought sweet pickles, but my grandmother's...well, my grandmother's pickles are in a category all their own.

It was a recipe written and perfected by Nana, my great grandmother, which was then passed to my grandmother, Shirley...then to my mom, and later to me.

When my grandmother passed away last year, pickling was something I naturally picked up. I mean, SOMEONE had to carry on the family tradition. Besides, if I didn't start making pickles, then how would I satisfy my cravings? And potato salad, tuna salad, deviled eggs...none of those are any good without grandmother's sweet pickles and pickling juice.

And the best thing about pickling is that every time I do it, I'm reminded of Grandmother Shirley. Making pickles is a blessing, and a constant reminder of Grandmother's kitchen. The taste, the smells, the pickling crocks scattered across her kitchen counter...

Mickle's Sweet Pickles just happened. It happened after I started giving away jars as gifts to family and friends. And the more friends tasted, the more friends wanted. In fact, people loved them so much, they started asking if they could buy my pickles. Buy them? I had never considered that, but I knew giving away so many jars each year was starting to wear a hole in my pocket. So, I agreed. I started selling pickles and thus, Mickle's Sweet Pickles was born.

Grandmother Shirley, doing one of the many things she did best.

I was fortunate to inherit one of Grandmother's antique pickling crocks, which sits on my kitchen counter, full of cucumbers, from June - August.

Pickling (when it's done right) is a two week process.
Week 1 includes visiting the Stillwater Farmer's Market. I LOVE my farmer friends (and their overalls)! I especially like Wednesday mornings, when the crowd is smaller, and there is more opportunity to visit and hear stories from these kind souls.
Rinsed and ready to take the crock plunge.
After one week of marinating.
Chop, chop, chop

After chopping, mixing and boiling for another week, using all of Mickle's TOP SECRET ingredients, it's FINALLY canning time!

I love using the old Ball and Mason jars. My father-in-law found boxes of antique jars for me this summer, which I scrubbed and sanitized prior to filling with pickle goodness. (Thank you, Sid!)

Because I enjoy learning and trying new things, and partly to satisfy my entrepreneurial spirit, I've created my first website -
You can also visit and LIKE Mickle's Sweet Pickles on Facebook at
Come visit and place your order! I've got my pantry stocked. Once the pickles are gone, they're gone until next summer!

1 comment:

Joy said...

Great story and your pickles look wonderful! Good luck to you in your business! ...I saw a picture of your pickles being delivered to Iron Horse Grill chef :-)