Madea’s Pickling Brine

Lawrence Scully shares the pickling brine recipe he loves from his grandmother Rose Lee (the kids call her Madea). You can pour the brine over any vegetables, but Scully prefers cucumbers.

Yield: 2 Pint Jars


  • 2 pounds small pickling cucumbers, sliced thin
  • 2 whole garlic cloves
  • 4 cups distilled white vinegar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil


  • Divide sliced cucumbers and garlic cloves between two jars
  • Add vinegar, sugar, garlic salt, mustard seed, coriander, peppercorns, thyme, and basil to a medium saucepan. Heat until boiling.
  • Remove from stovetop and pour brine over vegetables in jars. For best results, let sit for 24-48 hours in refrigerator before eating.