Sunday, August 26, 2012

Homemade Bread & Butter Pickles

B.B pickles finished
I haven't made homemade bread and butter pickles in years, I don't know why, because my family loves them. I've thought about making some pickles this summer, and today I decided I would make a batch or two.
This is the first year that I've used the Ball canning jars with the lids and bands. In the past I always used the old fashion jars with the metal bails and you had to use rubber rings for your seal. The rubber bands are very hard to find now.
Since I had been making jams, I decided to make pickles. I will give the home made pickles with the jams as Christmas gifts. I think they will look nice in a little basket, with a pickle fork and a jam spreader included.
getting started...
B.B pickles whole cukes4 pounds of pickling cucumbers washed/scrubbed and ready to be cut
B.B pickles cut cukes uncut and slices2almost done slicing my cucumbers
B.B pickles cut cukes1/4 inch slices of cucumbers in a Pyrex bowl
Kosher salt and thin sliced onions ready to be mixed into the cut cucumber slices
B.B pickles 1 bowl w kosher salt3
B.B pickles w Kosher saltI divided the cucumbers into two Pyrex bowl to let stand for 2 hours to draw the water from the cucumbers. Don't use aluminum pans. When I made bigger batches of pickles, I used a large enamel turkey pan to let the cucumbers sit. Pickles are easy to make. The longest part of the process is waiting the 2 hours while the salt removes excess fluid from the cucumbers.
B.B pickles sitting in saltafter the wilted onion/cucumber slices sat for 2 hours mixed with the salt they were put in a large colander and rinsed well to remove the salt. They are  now ready to be put into the hot pickling mix
B.B pickles salt waterliquid that the Kosher salt drew out of the cucumber slices
B.B pickles pickling mix ready to cook2    Pickling mix..sugar, vinegar,  mustard seeds, celery seeds ready to be cooked to dissolve the sugar, and be brought to a boil.
   B.B pickles pickling mix boiling 1st time pickling mix just starting to come to a boil.
B.B pickles syrup bathcucumber slices/onion placed into the pickling mix of sugar, vinegar, mustard seeds, celery seeds. Mix well to coat all of the slices. Once liquid has returned to a boil, cook for 1- 1/2 minutes.
B.B pickles packed in jar2with a slotted spoon  fill the hot/sterilized jars with the hot pickles. Then add some pickling liquid to the jar leaving 1/4 inch head space
    B.B pickles packed in jar  fill jar, leave 1/4 inch head space, wipe around the rim with a damp paper towel to remove any seeds, onion or pickle. Place on lid, and hand tighten cover, but not tightened all the way. My batch made...9-  half pint jar.
B.B pickles finished2after hot water bath when the pickles have cooled tighten the covers all the way. The lids have a circle in the center that will depress as the containers cool. That lets you know you have a good seal on your jar.
I looked online and like jam recipes found so many different versions and ingredients for Bread and Butter pickles. I don't use use turmeric , hot pepper flakes or cayenne pepper. I like my bread & butter pickles to be tangy.. sweet  and sour,not spicy.
Bread & Butter pickle recipe...below
6 cups or 4 pounds of washed, 1/4 inch sliced cucumbers
1 cup thinly sliced onions
1/2 cup kosher salt or Mrs. Wages pickling salt
1/2 Tsp. celery seed
Combine in a non aluminum 6 quart pan
1 Tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
1  1/2 cups cider vinegar
1  1/4 cup sugar
Bring to a boil after sugar is dissolved. Add rinsed cucumber slices, and return to a boil. gently submerge all slices. Boil 1 & 1/2 minutes. Fill hot, sterilized jars with a slotted spoon, and then add pickling liquid, leaving a 1/4 inch space at the top of the jar. Remove  air bubbles from the jars. Wipe the rims of the jars. Process in a water bath. ...5 minutes for 1/2 pint jars, 10 minutes for pint jars, 20 minutes for quarts.                                                                                                                  This batch  made 4- pints and one 1/2 pint.
I already have a second batch of pickles cut, and sitting in salt. I can't wait to try the pickles. Yum!
B.B pickles 2nd batch 8.26.12 second batch

When my garden has produced lots of cucumbers, I followed the recipe below from a very old Ball canning book. You don't have to use pickling cucumbers if you don't have them. Just use slender, non waxed cucumbers. I may try using English cucumbers to see how those work. Years ago I just used Straight Eight variety of cukes that we grew in our garden. I just picked them while they were smaller and thinner.

larger batch....
6 quarts cucumbers..wash and then cut into 1/4 inch slices
6 medium onions..sliced thin
1/2 cup Kosher salt
Combine above ingredients and let stand in a glass/enamel bowl/pan for 2 hours.
Ingredients for pickling
1  1/2 quarts vinegar
6 cups sugar
3 tablespoons mustard seed
1 Tablespoon celery seed
and follow the directions as above
I will be making more pickles tomorrow.


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