Bread and Butter

A pickle from the store I can take or leave, but I’ll never turn down a homemade pickle.


This is a great recipe for a person new to canning, as it’s not time-consuming or fussy, and the pickles are guaranteed to taste better than any you can buy.

Bread and Butter Pickles

10 pickling cucumbers

3 onions

5 cups vinegar

4 cups sugar

Celery seed

Mustard seed

Turmeric powder

Cut the ends off your cucumbers and discard. Leaving the ends on, particularly the blossom end, can cause your pickles to be floppy rather than firm. Nobody wants that.

Cut your cucumbers in either rounds or spears – or both – whatever you prefer.

Slice the onions and toss them with the cucumbers in a large bowl.

Add salt and let that sit for 40 minutes. This will give the salt time to pull some of the water from the cucumbers.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil with your empty jars in it. This is your canning or water bath, where you will process the completed jars. Boiling your empty jars sterilizes them and brings them up to temperature. Leave the jars in the boiling water until you’re ready to use them.

At the end of those 40 minutes, bring your vinegar and sugar to a boil.

Add mustard seed, celery seed, and turmeric. The amounts are up to you. I’d say I just fill the cup of my hand with celery seed, fill it completely with mustard seed, and cover the surface of the liquid with turmeric. There’s no messing this up, though. Do what looks good to you.

Let that mixture simmer.

Squeeze excess moisture out of the cucumbers and onions.

Pack them into your hot canning jars. Get as many in there as you can, as they will shrink a bit.

Cover with the vinegar mixture, leaving about a 1/4″ of empty space – ‘headspace’ – at the top of the jar.

Cover your jar with a clean, new, two-piece canning lid.

Put the full jars in your water bath. Once the water has returned to a boil, set a timer for 10 minutes.

Ten minutes up, turn off the heat and let the jars sit for a couple of minutes, then remove them from the pot.

Put them on a flat surface and leave them be til they’re cool. I like to put a towel on my counter so the jars do not come into contact with the cold surface. Hot glass + cold surface = explosion.

For best flavor, wait a couple of weeks before eating.

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