Monday, June 30, 2014

Bread and Butter Pickles

As Far As Pickles Go

I'm not really a big pickle fan.  I usually ask them to leave the dill off of hamburgers and salads. If they don't, I either throw it away or give it to my wife. She loves them. but   bread and butter pickles are different.  They are sweet, crunchy and have a place on my plate. I can eat them with nothing else. they are a snack food during football games.  I like a little red pepper in my pickles, but you can leave it out or add a little more.

Why The Name?

I've read that they got their name during the depression. People couldn't afford much, but cucumbers are easy to grow. Mom's could stick them between buttered bread and have a sandwich. The idea was that the person eating them would be eating vegetables. Some enterprising mom figured out if they pickled them first, they would last through winter. This was important since money was so tight. I don't know if this story is true, but I can tell you that I've had cucumber sandwiches. They are pretty good. 


  • 4 pounds pickling cucumbers
  • 1 large onion, quartered, sliced about 1/4-inch thickness
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt
  • 3 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds, or use half pickling spices
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional


Wash cucumbers and cut off the ends. Slice crosswise into 1/8-inch slices. Toss in a large bowl with the salt and onion slices; cover with about 4 to 6 cups of ice cubes. Cover and let stand for 4 hours or refrigerate overnight.
Prepare the boiling water bath. Add water to a large canner with rack and heat to about 180°. The water should be high enough to be at least 1 inch above the filled jars. I usually fill it about halfway and I keep a kettle or saucepan of water boiling on another burner to add to the canner as needed. Wash jars thoroughly and heat water in a small saucepan; put the lids in the saucepan and bring almost to the boil; lower heat to very low to keep the lids hot.

Drain the cucumber mixture. In a large pot (nonreactive) over medium heat, combine the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Add the drained cucumber mixture and bring to a boil. With a slotted spoon, loosely pack the vegetables in prepared jars. Ladle the liquid into jars, dividing evenly among the jars. With a clean damp cloth (I keep a little bowl or cup of the boiled water handy for this step), wipe away any drips around the rims of the jars then cover with 2-piece jar lids. A lid lifter comes in handy to get the flat lids out of the water, or you could use tongs. Adjust the screw on rings firmly but do not over-tighten. Place filled in the prepared boiling water bath, adding more hot water as needed to bring the water up to about 1 inch above the jars. Bring the water to a boil. Cover and continue boiling for 10 minutes. Lift the jars out of the water and place on a rack to cool.

1 comment:

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