Back in the early Fall I canned a batch of Bread and Butter Pickles and just recently was finally able to crack open a jar. Well, colour me happy folks because they are fantastic. I didn't realize what a great crunch the pickles would ultimately have from soaking them in the salted water and in fact I was skeptical enough to only make a small batch. Big mistake. Big. These are the best bread and butter pickles I've ever had. And if you don't believe me than you'll just have to listen to the word of my friend who opened a jar, tasted the pickles and said he would have them finished in two days. I can relate, it took me about a day and half. Beat that boy!
However, now I'm kicking myself because I only made 6 jars of the bread and butter compared to the 20 of the dill pickles, (which by the way we are down to 5 jars so perhaps we have a pickle addiction) but here's what I learned in my first pickle attempt; you can never have enough. And as for the remaining 4 jars of the bread and butter pickles, sorry friends but cucumber season here in Canada is still pretty far away and I can't bear to give up any more of those jars. If we run out I'm afraid of the withdrawal effects we will have to suffer so next year I'll make more, enough to share I promise.
Recipe from The Royal Canadian Legion Ladies' Auxiliary Cook Book:
16 cups pickling cucumbers, scrubbed clean and sliced into thin rounds about 1/4" thick
8 white onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup pickling salt
1. Cover cucumbers, onions and salt with very cold water for 3 hours. Drain the water.
5 cups white vinegar
5 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons mustard seed
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1. Bring the brine ingredients to a boil.
2. Pack the drained cucumbers and onions into sterilized jars.
3. Pour the hot liquid over the cucumbers leaving a 1/4 inch headspace.
4. Remove any air bubbles from the liquid. Wipe the jars clean, place the lids on the jars, lightly screw closed and process the jars in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Store in a cool place for at least 6 weeks before opening. Once opened store the pickles in the refrigerator.