Day 171–Bread and Butter Pickles

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What to do with a bumper crop of cucumbers? Why, make pickles, of course! I’ve been reading a lot about how to make cucumber pickles and the science of the fermenting process and I have to say, it scares me a little. The whole bacteria management of true pickle making is really not made for my seemingly random and inconsistent personality. I have a limited attention span, people, and I need recipes that embrace that (because at this point in my life, I will probably not become focused like a laser beam). Enter the Bread and Butter Pickle. Simple. Fresh. Easy. A pickle recipe made for a mom who often forgets why she walked downstairs, only to remember once she goes back upstairs. You know. That kind of thing. I don’t do sourdough starter for that reason either.

I made these pickles using locally grown, Kirby pickling cucumbers, which are in absolute abundance here right now. In fact, I may plant some next year because they are taste good all by themselves and they are nice and small. I like this recipe because it is pretty quick and doesn’t call for a commercial pickling mix. It also doesn’t require weeks on tending while the cucumbers slowly ferment on my counter top. This recipe is from my favorite canning book, Put ‘Em Up!

We haven’t opened up a jar of these pickles yet, but we did have some leftover brined cucumber slices that didn’t have a home and they were very good. So good we ate them all. The onion really amps up the flavor. These are a little sweet and a little tart–not too much of either. In about a week, we’ll try some and see how they are. I’m hoping they are really tasty because we now have 5 pints of them 🙂

Bread and Butter Pickles

  • 5 lb. cucumbers (we used Kirby), ends removed and cut into 1/4″ coins
  • 1 lb. onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 c. + 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 2 cups ice cubes
  • 4 c. distilled white vinegar
  • 2 c. water
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. mustard seed
  • 1 Tbsp. black peppercorns
  • 1 Tbsp. celery seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. turmeric
  1. Layer the cut cucumber and onion with 1/2 c. salt in a large bowl. Cover with a layer of ice cubes and let sit for 2 hours. Drain and rinse.
  2. Combine the vinegar, water, sugar, mustard, peppercorn, celery seed, turmeric and remaining salt in a large, nonreactive pot and bring to a boil.
  3. Add the drained vegetables and return to a boil, stirring to ensure all vegetables are heated through. Remove from heat.
  4. Store pickles by either ladling into bowls and jars and storing in the fridge for up to 3 weeks or can.
  5. If canning, ladle the vegetables into clean, hot pint canning jars. Add the brine to the jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace. Release any trapped air. Clean the rims, add lids and collars. Process for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit with lid off of the canning pot for 5 minutes.
  6. Remove jars and set aside for 24 hours. Check seals and store jars for up to 1 year.

 

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6 Comments

  1. I wish I liked pickles. These are so cute and sound easy!!! I ove those little Kirby cucumbers. They make a great snack.

    Reply
  2. I have my mother in laws recipe…used to make these babies back in the 80’s…yep…lots of dang sweat and work. Kids and I would go pick the cukes….the right size ones of course….bring them home and you have to get the nubs off them…ok fine…how…hello…I know the washer…so I would wash them and they went to my washer and would agitate on gentle cycle to get the nubs off and be clean. Then of course I sterilized the jars and lids in the DW. After the cukes were clean and ready the recipe would begin…life for me would stop and I would be making pickles…what no I do not care WB about harvest…now get out of my way…what…no I am not cooking lunch…unless you want pickles…both bread and butter and dills…and they were stinking good! Last time I made them I put up over 200 mason jar quarts…hmmmm…wonder why me has not since???? However go for it and have fun:)

    Footnote: Yes I did cook a harvest lunch for Wild Bill and all my cousins and Uncles…and still made pickles that were so much better than store bought…and they were very good too. Try it…I truly loved doing it at the time…it was a season…along with jam too:)

    Reply
  3. This is great! I have never tried pickling before, though my father has. I am also afraid that I may start growing a contagion or some such thing. But it’s the best way to preserve the season’s best produce.

    Reply

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