Bread and Butter Pickles

14 06 2010

As a little girl, I have wonderful memories of being at MawMaw’s for an entire day and the whole house was consumed with smells of vinegar and cloves.  The vinegar was enough to bring tears to your eyes, but we always knew the outcome, beautiful and the most delicious bread and butter pickles to ever exist. 

Last weekend, my mom and I attempted and were successful at recreating the smells, the memories and most importantly, the pickles. 

The garden this year is completely full of the cucumbers.  So many that couldn’t possibly eat them all, so we decided that bread and butter pickles, and dill pickles were on the agenda.  For all of you having an ah-ha moment, I am happy to tell you that yes, cucumbers make pickles. 

We slaved for hours, but the yield is truly, the most heavinly pickles.  Canning, or growing, and making your own food, puts things in perspective. You think about all of the old homesteaders who recognized canning as a way of life, if nothing else but for survival.   Canning for nine hours last Saturday, made me laugh to think about a woman trying to have a job, family and keep everyone fed. It was impossible and while we have processed food to thank that shift, the appeal of home grown and prepared food makes you all the more grateful. 

Here is our family recipe for Bread and Butter pickles:

In preparation, you will need to sterilize your jars or place them in the dishwasher.

1 quart sliced cucumbers

1 sliced onion

1 cup vinegar

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon celery seed

 6 cloves (or more if desired, we almost doubled this. We love our cloves)

Pickling salt, sprinkled in

1 teaspoon turmeric


Stir items and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and cook items until you achieve desired taste or crispness. 

Bring a pot of water to boil with water levels low enough to hold jars.  Boil jars and lids for 5 minutes. Only touch the lids with tongs.     

After boiling jars, remove from water and begin to add mixture and juice until full. Run a knife along the inner parimeter of the jar to remove air and potentially add more juice.  Ensure that pickles are covered in juice.  Wipe off any juice from around the jar, and then tightly place the lid.  Popping will occur in the jars over the next few hours. This ensures that the jars are sealed. 




2 responses

14 06 2010

They laugh, but I just put two and two together a few years ago… cucumbers = pickles.

In my defense, I don’t like cucumbers (except when Becky makes me her cucumber salad), so I didn’t know too much about what to do with them.

18 08 2010
Michael Beyer

I was so surprised to realize while I was studying abroad in Japan that many vegetables can be pickled. Now it’s funny to think back though. It reminds me a little bit of my mother who thought (and probably still does) that any pasta was “spaghetti!”

These are my favorite bread and butter pickles. They are what grandma would have made:

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