Janet Grandy’s German Dill Pickles


Here's what you will need:

  • 3 quarts and 1 cup water

  • 1 cup vinegar 

  • 1 cup salt

  • Cucumbers, about 3 inches long, split lengthwise in quarters

  • Powered alum

  • Dill

  • Small garlic cloves



Full quart jars wilts cucumbers and add 1/2 tsp alum, 1 small garlic clove and 1 big bunch of dill. In a sauce pan, mix the water, vinegar and salt bringing to a boil. Pour hot pickling syrup into quart jar and seal. Let set overnight. Makes 6 quarts of pickles.


When farmers are getting cucumbers out of the field it’s time to make pickles. These were delicious with the right amount of salt, garlic and dill. Like a deli pickle with that crisp bite. 


These images are from the 1914 fair premium book as well as one from the 1960s.


In 1914, the Saginaw County Agricultural Society held their first county fair at the fairgrounds located on East Genesee Avenue in Saginaw. From the 6th through the 9th of October county residents brought their best endeavors, whether it be German dill pickles, quilting or cattle to the fair in the hopes of taking home a blue ribbon. Thousands of area residents flocked to the fair each fall to view the displays, ride the carnival rides and watch the grandstand shows. In 2001, the Saginaw County Fair moved to its new home in Chesaning and is held at the end of July, beginning of August each year.


Photo of Janet Grandy

Janet Grandy was born in Saginaw on September 24, 1937. Her parents were Maynard and Marjorie Swarthout. Janet passed in June 2009.


Deana Coleman, our staff associate, tests out weekly recipes from the cookbook Savoring Saginaw. Vice President/Chief Historian Tom Trombley and Chief Curator Sandy Schwan provided the historical information for this blog.

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