How to Make Bread and Butter Pickles

Growing up, I was surrounded by women who spent time in the kitchen canning and making anything from jams and pickles. The tradition carried on from one generation to the next. While my great-grandma and Meeme would make their pickles or jam alone, it\’s become a tradition that my mum and I make them together – at least when I am in town anyway. 

A few weeks ago my mum and I made up a batch of my Great Grandma Bea\’s Bread and Butter Pickles. These pickles are canned and take about four months to get to the proper pickle flavor. You can either can these pickles or place them in your refrigerator to enjoy sooner than later. 

You can make this recipe with traditional cucumbers that are not too long, and you will use about five of them. That is how my great-grandma would make them. My mum and I prefer to use pickling cucumbers, and grow them in her garden. You can typically find pickling cucumbers at a roadside farm stand and/or your local farmers market.

Grandma Bea\’s Bread and Butter Pickles

this makes a single batch 

5 cups sliced pickling cucumbers (See step 1)
3 medium sweet onions sliced
1/4 cup kosher salt
1 cup white distilled vinegar
1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon clove

1. Wash the cucumbers and cut them into thin slices.
2. Peel and slice the onions thin.
3. Combine the cucumbers, onions, and salt in a large bowl, and add ice. Let stand for 2 hours. 
4. After two hours drain. 
5. In a pot add vinegar, water, mustard seed, sugar, turmeric, cinnamon, and clove. Taste the mixture to make sure that is the flavor you want your pickles to be. If it is not the flavor you are looking for add more spices to get to your desired pickle flavor.
6. Once you have your desired pickle brine flavor, bring the mixture to a boil. 
7. Place cucumbers and onions into canning jars and pour the boiling brine mixture over them. 

*At this stage, you can prepare them for canning, and can according to canning directions. These pickles taste best canned and sitting for a couple months. Typically we make our pickles in August and open our first jar at Thanksgiving. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does.
** Use something down the side of the jar all the way around it to go up and down and remove the air bubbles. In turn, this will force you to add some more brine.

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