Bread-and-Butter Pickles

Bread and Butter Pickles

[photo: unknown]

My grandma used to make these good sweet pickles that I later figured out were actually bread-and-butter pickles. My grandma also occasionally had some old fashioned cooking practices that  probably weren’t necessarily safe by today’s standards, but that’s how she learned to cook “on the farm” she said so that’s how she did it. I am not sure if she followed all the proper canning steps or not, but the pickles were good and none of us died from botulism so I guess they were alright!

Bread-and-Butter Pickles
Makes:      6 (1 pint) jars        Preheat Oven Temp:    N/A

Ingredients List   * You will need 6 (1 pint) canning jars and lids per batch.

16 cups fresh pickling cucumbers, sliced about 1/4 inch thick (about 4 pounds)
6 cups white onion, thinly sliced (about 3 large onions)
1/2 cup salt – pickling salt is preferred for best quality
5 cups sugar
5 cups cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. turmeric
1 1/2 tsp. celery seed
2 tsp. mustard seed

Step-by-Step

1 In a large pot mix the cucumbers, onions and salt together. Cover with cold water and 3 – 4 trays of ice cubes. Let this sit for 3 hours. Drain the water off, rinse well and drain again.
2 In an 8-quart stock pot, combine the sugar, vinegar, turmeric, celery seed and mustard seed.
3 Heat this mixture over high heat until boiling. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
4 Stir the mixture often. It will be thicker – almost like a syrup.
5 While the syrup is simmering, prepare the jars and lids by washing them in warm soapy water and rinsing them well. Rinse them again and leave them sitting in very hot water. Check the manufacturer’s directions to see if they recommend boiling the lids.
6 Add the cucumbers and onions to the syrup and heat to almost boiling. Do not boil.
7 Once it almost boils, remove it from the heat and set the jars up for filling. Empty jars can be filled using a wide funnel. Put the cucumbers and onions into the jars, filling the empty space with syrup to near 1/4″ of the top of the jars.
8 Use a clean, damp cloth to wipe the tops, threads, and sides of the jars. Add the lids and rings .
9 Process the closed jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. *The jars should preferably sit on a rack in the bottom of the water bath. Do not add the jars until the water has boiled. The water should come to 1 – 2 inches over the top of the jars once they are all placed inside the bath. If the water level is low, add as much boiling water as is needed to cover them.
10 With all jars in place, put a lid on the water bath and boil gently for a full 10 minutes. Use a jar lifter to remove the jars and place them on a wooden cutting board or layers of dish towels to cool. Cool jars completely (at least 12 hours), test the lids for leakage and then store in a cool dark place until use.

*Read jar and lid package instructions completely.

*Refrigerate jars that did not seal and use them first.

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