The Pickles

If you’ve got a few hours to spare, pickling is really, really easy. There is only one essential tool I have to recommend: a mandoline. We used a handheld one by Oxo from Crate and Barrel…it worked SO well and cut each cucumber with ease and uniform thickness. One of my favorite new kitchen tools! Jon loved this, too. (Thanks, Susan, for suggesting this!) Anyway, the first step in making pickles is the longest, only because once you cut the cucumbers you have to sprinkle them with salt and wait 3 hours until you start the actual canning. The salt helps pull the liquid from the cucumbers, which is then drained off before you mix the other ingredients. So really, it’s only a long step because you have to wait…not because you are stuck in the kitchen for that length of time. Here are some pictures of our great pickling experience, followed by the recipe we used at the end. Enjoy!

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All finished...yummy bread and butter pickles, canned and sealed!

All finished...yummy bread and butter pickles, canned and sealed!

Grandma Stoddard’s Bread and Butter Pickles

1 quart cucumbers (English work best)
onion and bell pepper (optional)
1/4 cup salt (we used sea salt and it’s recommended not to use table salt)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp white or yellow mustard (whole)
1/4 tsp tumeric
1 liter apple cider vinegar (approx.)
canning jars (3-4 medium size)

1. Slice cucumbers 1/8-1/4 inch thick and place in a large bowl. Add chopped onion and bell pepper if you desire.
2. Sprinkle salt over cucumbers/onion/bell pepper and stir. Let sit for 3 hours.
3. Drain liquid from cucumber mixture & rinse in colander with water to pull off excess salt.
4. In a large pot add cucumbers, sugar, mustard, tumeric, and enough apple cider vinegar to cover. Stir and heat but do not boil.
5. Meanwhile, sanitize/heat jars in lightly boiling water. Heat lid seals in warm water as well.
6. Once steps 4 and 5 are complete, you can start adding the cucumber mixture to the jars, leaving about 1/2 inch of space to the top of the jar. Wipe off the edge of the jar to ensure a clean seal and put lid seal + screw ring on top. (You will know your jar is properly sealed when you hear a “pop” and the middle of the lid seal in inverted.)
7. The next day, unscrew the ring around the jars and wipe off the top edge of the jars again. They will remain sealed, even with the ring removed, and will keep for at least a year.

Happy pickling!

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