Bread-and-Butter Pickles

>> Thursday, September 1, 2011

Angela's old-fashioned sweet pickle recipe is a staple with sandwiches or at summer picnics. The stories vary about the name "bread and butter" pickles, but the most consistent explanation is that in the Depression Era, these pickles along with bread and butter might well be a person's midday or evening meal. Keep that in mind just in case our current recession falls into an actual economic depression!

  • 4 pounds small pickling cucumbers
  • 1/3 cup pickling salt
  • 4 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons whole mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 3 teaspoons celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, ground
  • 3 cups green tomatoes, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 5 cups onions, thinly sliced
  • 11 to 12 pint canning jars
  1. Sterilize canning jars.
  2. Scrub cucumbers well. Slice off the ends of cucumbers and cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Place layers of cucumbers and salt in a large bowl, and cover it with a layer of ice. Place in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours to make the cucumbers crisper. Drain well.
  3. Combine vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, ginger, celery seeds, and pepper in a large saucepan or pot. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for ten minutes. Stir in the cucumbers and onions and return to a boil. Remove from the heat. 
  4. Pack vegetables into hot jars, and then ladle the sauce over the vegetables, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Slide a knife or spatula inside the jar to remove air bubbles; adjust headspace if necessary. 
  5. Dampen a kitchen towel and wipe around the rims of the canning jars. Screw the canning lids onto the jar just until finger-tight. Process 15 minutes in boiling-water canner.

Yield: 12 pints.

The Complete Guide to Food Preservation
This recipe was featured in my book, The Complete Guide to Food Preservation: Step-by-step Instructions on How to Freeze, Dry, Can, and Preserve Food


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