Friday, September 03, 2010

Bread and Butter Pickles

This is how I make them...

Rinse a big pile of fresh, crisp, cucumbers in the sink.

Leaving the peel on, slice the cucumbers very thin. Have the kitchen assistant measure out 4 quarts worth.

Sprinkle with 1/2 cup salt (I divided the salt and sprinkled 1/4 cup over the first 2 quarts, then the remaining 1/4 cup on top). Let rest for 3 hours.

This is how many I had left... gotta love it when you get the quantity right from the start!

Drain (but don't rinse) the cucumbers in a colander in the sink. Place the bowl on top to help squeeze out excess liquid.

Get all of your supplies ready to go.

The jars I sterilize in the dishwasher (this recipe makes 7 pints every time), timing the cycle so that the pickles will be ready to load when the jars are still piping hot.

The lids and rings I heat in a pot on the stovetop.

I use a pair of tongs to retrieve the lids, a funnel and ladle for filling the jars, and a pair of rubber-palm garden gloves for handling the hot jars.

A few bath towels are ready to receive hot jars of pickles (to be explained later).

In a large stockpot, combine 3 cups sugar, 1 teaspoon turmeric, 1 teaspoon celery seed, 2 tablespoons mustard seed, 1 tablespoon peppercorns, 4 cloves of thinly sliced garlic,

and 4 cups of apple cider vinegar. Bring to a boiling point.

Add cucumbers and heat thoroughly, but do not boil. This can be a challenge... watch that pot! If you boil the cucumbers they will get soft and mushy, but if you don't get them up to temperature, the jars won't seal. This is why I get all of my implements ready to go ahead of time, and also why there are no photographs of the actual jarring of the pickles.

Once the pickles reach that boiling point, turn the burner down to hold them at a simmer while you quickly get them into their jars. Like this... with gloves on, grab jar from dishwasher, close the door again to keep the heat in, ladle pickles and juice through funnel into jar, grab lid and ring from simmering pot with tongs, twist firmly into place on the jar, turn jar upside down on bath towel and cover up with the other bath towels... Repeat... Repeat... Repeat... don't stop or slow down until all the jars are filled and upside down under that towel. Whew!

Take 10 minutes to catch your breath. Uncover the jars and flip them right-side up. Listen for those lids to seal!

Yum! The first time I made this recipe and tasted a finished pickle I actually giggled out loud with delight, because they were so spot-on... exactly how I wanted them to taste and feel in my mouth. Perfection!


Tanya said...

So cool!! Looks wonderful.


Kathy Barrick said...

Beth, could you please come to my house and help me do all of that? I know they'll be wonderful and I know, with your expert help, they'll be a total success. Without you....well....I don't foresee a lot of success. P-l-e-a-s-e????


Heather said...

Those look great! I may have to try them next week. I just finished peaches so I may need a day or two off.

Natasha said...

My Dad has been canning pickles for the last month or so. When I went back to Ohio to visit I got to help hime out, and even was able to safetly pack two jars into my checked bag on the flight home. I ate the last jar two week ago and have since been craving them LOL

My Grandma use to can aton her goal every year was to can at least 1,000 jars LOL My Grandad buitl her a canning house.

Enjoy those pickles :)

Shana said...

YUM! Thanks for sharing and I can't wait to try making some of my own!

Shana said...

Mine are now under their bath towel spa treatment! Trevor is so excited to try them! Thanks so much!

Shana said...

Finally let Trevor open a jar and these are absolutely DELICIOUS! Thanks so much for sharing!