When you garden in raised beds with compost sometimes you are blessed with surprise crops. We were blessed with a cucumber crop this year. We didn’t plant any but God thought we needed more pickles, I guess. Well when the Good Lord provides, it is my job to preserve the harvest. I decided to make Bread and Butter Pickles. They are our families favorite type of pickles. And because I can them, we can enjoy some home grown cucumbers and pickles all year round!
The first step is to wash your cumbers and then slice them. You can use a mandolin but to be honest, those scare me. I would much rather un-uniform slices and all of my digits attached and unscathed. I know, call me crazy, but it is worth it in the end, at least for me. This is roughly 9 cups of sliced cucumbers.
See all the liquid? You want to place the cucumbers and salt in the fridge for about 2 hours. The salt really pulls out the extra liquid that is in the cucumbers. Drain the cumbers and rinse well. Be sure to remove all the salt.
Now it is time to make the pickling fluid for the pickles. You can not pickle a cucumber with out pickling fluid. In a heavy bottom sauce pan simmer 2 teaspoons of Mustard Seed, 1 teaspoon Celery Seed, 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar, 1 Cup White Sugar, 1 1/2 Cup Distilled Vinegar, 3/4 Cup of Apple Cider Vinegar, and a pinch of Turmeric. Simmer until all the sugar is fully dissolved.
While the fluid is simmering, be sure all of your canning tools and jars and lids and rings are all sterilized. Be sure you place the canning rack in the bottom of your water bath and start warming the water.
Very carefully ladle the hot pickling fluid into the jars leaving about 1/2 inch head space. Take a knife and release any bubbles that are hiding in the cucumbers and fluid. Wipe the rims of the jars clean of all debris and place a lid and ring on top. Place the rings on snug but not too tight.
This is a jar lifter. It is the tool I am most thankful for when it comes to canning. I can not imagine how I would have to remove the jars without this tool. If you do not have one, I strongly suggest you get one. It makes removing the jars safer and more easily.
Once you remove the jars, place them on a towel about 2 inches apart. Once they cool completely, usually 24 hours later, check the lids to be sure they all sealed. Remove the lids and store in a dark place. If a jar didn’t seal, you can place them into the fridge and enjoy them in about 2-3 days, when they are officially pickled.
Bread and Butter Pickles
- 9 cups of pickling cucumbers sliced
- a couple of shakes or a pinch Tumeric
- 1 tsp. Mustard Seed
- 1/2 tsp. Celery Seed
- 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
- 1 cup White Sugar
- 1 1/2 cup White Vinegar
- 3/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. Kosher Salt
- 1 large onion, sliced
- Clean your cucumbers, and slice off the ends and discard. Slice your cucumbers
- Measure out 9 cups of cucumbers and place them in a bowl. Sprinkle salt over sliced cucumbers, toss, cover them lightly and place them in the refrigerator for a couple of hours to chill. This will help them lose their excess water.
- Rinse them off in and place them back in the bowl, with the onions. Toss them both together to make sure they are mixed evenly.
- Get your jars and lids heating in a water bath. They need to heat for at least 10 minutes before being filled
- In a pot on the stove top, combine all the remaining ingredients. Bring the mixture to a full boil. Stir to make sure the sugar melts and mixes with the vinegar to create the hot brine for the pickles.
- While the mixture is preparing, pull your jars out of the hot water bath.
- Fill the jars with the cucumber and onion mixture, making sure to use a funnel to keep the rims of the jars from being touched. Make sure to utilize all the space in each jar and continue to pack the cucumbers and onions in.
- Using a jar funnel, pour the hot brine, liquid, into the jars. Make sure to leave 1/4″ head space for each jar and wipe down the rims before sealing them thoroughly.
- Place all the lids and rims on the jars
- Place all the jars back in the hot water bath for 30 minutes. The hot water should cover the tops of the jars by at least an inch.
- Remove the jars once they’ve processed in the hot water bath, wipe off all of the water from the jars, and allow them to cool on a countertop.