May though July are my busy summer months. It is what I call “vegetable season”. I will spend those months canning or freezing vegetables. I remember my parents and grandparents did this when I was younger. My parents would have waiting for me bushels of peas, butter beans, tomatoes, corn and anything else that they decided to pick up at the Farmer’s Market. I hated to see those bags but what I would love to go back to those days with them and pay more attention. I also remember sitting under my Grandma’s cedar tree shelling peas or shucking corn with her. Those are good memories.
This year for the first time I decided to make pickles. I had no idea where to begin on this process or what type of cucumber to use. I searched Pinterest for several different recipes and I decided on this Bread and Butter Recipe. I am really glad that I did. This is really good stuff and I see myself making this again.
I used a Mandoline to slice the cucumbers and onions. It was so much easier than slicing by hand. You do need to be very careful with your fingers. You will get cut. My husband decided to do this very thing.
I ended up with 14 pint jars and I am hopeful it will last through next year. I usually plan my canning and freezing for the year to come. The following summer I will do it all over again.
Bread and Butter Pickles
- 6 pounds pickling cucumbers, 1/4 inch thinly slice
- 2 pounds of sweet onions, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup canning / pickling salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon mustard seed
- 1 tablespoon dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon celery seed
- 1 teaspoon peppercorns
- 2 cups white distilled vinegar
- 2 quarts crushed ice or ice cubes and water
- Wash cucumbers. Slice and discard ends. Slice the onions thinly and add to the cucumbers in a large bowl. I used an old metal dish pan. Sprinkle salt and the ice over the top and let set for 3 hours or longer. I did let the first batch set overnight and it did fine. Place a towel over top of ice.
- Drain and rinse the cucumbers and onion thoroughly. The pickles will have a salty taste if it is not rinsed thoroughly. I rinsed them many times.
- Prepare the jars and lids. Wash and sterilize the jars in boiling water for 10 minutes. Place the lids in a small pan with water and simmer over low heat. Boiling the lids could damage the rubber seal.
- In a large nonreactive pot (I used a stainless steel) combine sugar, spices and vinegar. Heat to a boil and add the drained cucumbers and onions. Return to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Fill jars loosely with cucumbers and onions, leaving 1/4 inch head space.
- Add Ball Pickle Crisp Granules to the each jar, optional. 1/8 teaspoon per pint and 1/4 teaspoon per quart
- Ladle hot liquid over the pickles, maintaining the 1/4 inch head space.
- Clean the rim of the jar. Place lids and rings onto the jar. Do not overtighten.
- Process 10 minutes in a Water Bath Canner.
- Remove rings after 24 hours and clean jar. Replace rings if you want to.
- Store is a cool dark place.
- Allow 4-5 weeks to sit for pickles to develop flavor.