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Robert St. John

Restaurateur, author, enthusiastic traveler, & world-class eater.

The Late-Great Louis Norman’s Garlicky-Sweet Dill Pickles


Plain Dill Pickles
2 tsp Minced Garlic
1 ½ cups Granulated Sugar


Start with one-gallon of the cheapest dill pickles you can find (Do not use kosher dills). Drain and discard all of the juice and cut pickles into one-inch segments. Next, layer approximately 2 inches of pickle segments back into the bottom of the empty one-gallon pickle jar. Top pickles with approximately two teaspoons of minced garlic and pour enough granulated sugar over the top of the pickles to cover (approximately 1 – 1 1 /2 cups). Repeat procedure until you have filled the pickle jar. Close lid tightly and let sit. Within six hours the sugar will dissolve and make a new, sweeter, pickle liquid. Add an additional cup (or two) of sugar making sure that the pickles are always covered by sugar or liquid.

Store pickles in the refrigerator for three days. Rotate the jar twice a day to thoroughly mix ingredients.

This is not a pickling recipe. True canners will scoff at this procedure since raw cucumbers aren’t being used. But who cares what they think. The end result is worth the loss of authenticity. The hardest part of the recipe is finding plain-old dill pickles. Kosher dills won’t work (they shrivel up). Louis sliced his garlic into small shaved chips (about two heads per gallon of pickles). I use minced garlic.

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