Last Wednesday, I decided to try my hand at making bread and butter pickles from scratch. These are the best refrigerator pickles that I have come across over the years. Although the batches my grandmother and I would make, many summers ago, could easily rival them. I just need to get my hands on her recipe one of these days! For now, I will use this one from The Beekman 1802 Cookbook. And yes, this is recipe number two from the book, if you’re counting.
One of my goals in making a more sustainable and healthy life, is to have a pantry full of jars labeled with the fruits and vegetables from our summers. Rows of tomato sauces, fruit jellies and a variety of vegetables to take us through the winter. The thought of being able to eat garden fresh food on a cold snowy day makes me smile.
To get started on this dream of mine, I decided to start with something simple. With the help of my mother-in-law, we whipped up three jars crammed full of sweet and spicy deliciousness in a matter of an hour. You know how it is, the first time you run through a new recipe? Read, then re-read, then read as you go, so no mistakes are made. I’m betting next time we can make them in under an hour. The overnight waiting was torture and to satisfy my vinegar craving, after smelling the pickling liquid boiling for that mere 5 minutes, I sipped some of the leftover juices. I know, gross right? Not if you are a pickle lover like I am. It was a tasty hint of what was to come the next afternoon.
Just look at those crunchy slices of goodness. There is nothing like homemade pickles and since this recipe was quick and delicious, I’m planning on stocking the pantry with my second round of cucumber canning!
Do you make pickles? How about canning of any kind? My grandparents had a cellar, not called a basement in those days, full of jarred veggies and fruits along with what seemed like months worth of root vegetables.
They sure knew how to eat well.
Quick Bread and Butter Pickles
6 Medium Kirby cucumbers sliced thin
1 small onion
2 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
5 teaspoons pickling spice
1 cinnamon stick, broken into a few pieces
4 teaspoons coarse salt
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seed
1 teaspoon coriander seed
1 teaspoon dill seed
1/2 teaspoon allspice berries
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
4 whole cloves
1 bay leaf, crumbled
In a large bowl, toss onions and cucumber slices
In a medium saucepan large enough to hold the vinegar and spices, heat to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for five minutes.
Pour the cooked pickling mixture over the onion and cucumbers and mix well.
Place a piece of wax paper on the surface of the cucumbers and weigh down with a plate or similar object covering the top.
Let cool to room temperature.
Once cooled, pack the cucumber and onion mix into glass canning jars and pour any extra liquid and spice mix over each jar.
Seal tightly and refrigerate overnight or at least 24 hours. They will be worth the wait!
These can be refrigerated for up to 3 months or vacuum sealed in a water bath and stored in your pantry.