Skip to content


August 31, 2008

I thought of calling this post I know what side my bread is buttered on, but Pickletorial is just as silly.  After all,  I would hate anybody to take me too seriously… .  Especially, since I might have to run outside and hunt, hunters at any moment.  I needed to share a recipe that can be done over a course of hours, and that isn’t too fussy until the last 45 minutes or so.

View Raw Image” width=”520″ height=”390″ />
These are about the only pickles we eat anymore.  I got this recipe from the Hereford rancher down the road.  She was a great all around tomgirl, who lived (and I mean LIVED, gardening, cattle, canning, drinking beer, cussing, hunting and giving out cherished recipes) until she had a massive stroke.  I brought her some cherries to can that day, and she complained of a terrible headache, that night she collapsed.  She is missed.  During her lifetime, she had raised her own child, then his children, and some of their children.  People didn’t cry and complain about dysfunctional families in those days, they just did what was necessary.  She was a great gal!

This is me sitting in her yard, right next to her garden.  July 1958.  That’s our ’39 Chev in the background.  My mom drove that car until she hit a deer with it.  Ironically, she hit the deer in the same place she hit one of our cows , after she switched to a Ford.  😉

Here is Emma’s Bread and Butter Pickle recipe:

BREAD AND BUTTER PICKLES        about 6 quarts or 12-13 pints.

6 qts sliced cucumbers – approximately 8 pounds
4 qts sliced onions
1 c. kosher salt
7 c. cider vinegar, raw and unfiltered
7 c. sugar
2 T. turmeric
2 T. mustard seed
1 T. celery seed

Combine cucumbers and onions in large pan, add salt and mix.  Let stand for at least 3 hours, overnight is OK.  Drain well, do not rinse before adding to brine.
Combine vinegar, sugar and spices.  Bring to a boil, add drained cukes and onions – bring to a boil.  Take off heat  and pack into sterilized jars.  Process boiling water bath, 10 minutes, 15 minutes above 1000 feet.

I divide this recipe in half to make it easier to measure and cook.  You might have less cucumbers to process too, so don’t be afraid to make a smaller batch.


View Raw Image” width=”520″ height=”390″ />
Bucket o’ cucumbers.  Just picked, it doesn’t get any fresher than that.  Rinse, and be sure to remove any trace of blossoms from the end.  The blossom can cause softening and bitterness.  The stem is OK to leave on.  These are National Pickling OP from Fedco Seeds.

View Raw Image” width=”534″ height=”390″ />
In the days before food processors.  Emma told me about this slicer too.  Her husband bought her’s at the State Fair.  This is a good peak oil tool.  🙂   Feemster’s Vegetable Slicer is still available online.



View Raw Image” width=”520″ height=”390″ />
Slice cukes about 1/8″ or 1/4″ thick.

View Raw Image” width=”520″ height=”390″ />
I slice these with a knife, and I wear my safety goggles.

View Raw Image” width=”520″ height=”390″ />
We like long, thin slices of onions, but you can slice in any form you want.

View Raw Image” width=”640″ height=”313″ />
I break this recipe in half.   Two pans for salting and two kettles for cooking. This makes it easier to bring to a boil without over-cooking.  When my daughter was little she always wanted to help.  So this was a good place for math lessons.  To make sure we had the correct proportions, and didn’t get mixed up, I had her put each quart of cukes in their own pile.  That way, she could do some things without me hovering, and she could also tell where she was at in the recipe.  We still do it that way, just because it is easier to see where we are getting ahead of ourselves.

View Raw Image” width=”520″ height=”390″ />
Salted down.  This draws the water out of the cukes and will allow them to re-hydrate with the brine.  When I pick the cukes, I pick everything.  We put these little guys in for a surprise later.  We always try to find the whole pickle in the jar.  Kind of like getting the Indian on the Tootsie Roll sucker.

View Raw Image” width=”520″ height=”390″ />
Mustard seed, celery seed, and turmeric.  Turmeric can help digestion, and arthritis.  Very popular in curries, it’s good in these pickles too.

View Raw Image” width=”520″ height=”390″ />
Cukes and onion added to boiling brine.

View Raw Image” width=”520″ height=”390″ />
This is how the pickles will look after coming to a boil.  Just bring to a boil, at this time they will lose their bright green color and start to look cooked.  Remove from the heat, and pack and process.

These pickles will stay crunchy for at least 3 years.  Instead of making relish, I just chop up these pickles as needed.  The brine is tasty in potato salad also.

21 Comments leave one →
  1. September 1, 2008 1:40 am

    Looks like my mom’s pickles. She doesn’t make them anymore. Might be time to start doing those myself as I don’t even like to eat store bought ones. Thing is, I didn’t grow any cukes this year. I might just have to buy some I s’pose.

  2. September 1, 2008 2:45 am

    Turmeric good for arthritis? Methinks this old man will have to eat more curry.

    Being a Brit, no hardship there. Thanks for the tip.

  3. September 1, 2008 5:25 am

    They’re goregous, thanks for sharing the recipe and its history.

  4. Kristen permalink
    September 1, 2008 6:46 am

    I can’t wait to try this recipe…have to wait to next year though….my garden was a sad sight this year. I think I tried to start too many things in one year…but the orchard and strawberries are doing good 🙂

  5. September 1, 2008 10:35 am

    ohh YUMM. I got lots of jam/jelly/fruitbutter recipes from my mom, but never did get her pickle recipe. I know it was a several day affair, maybe a week or more – with crocks being tended and such before the pickles were processed. I just don’t have the attention span for that. I’ve acquired more jellies/jams/marmelades/chutneys on my own, but never have come up with a pickle recipe I like to do. Well, pickled green beans yes, but that’s just not the same.

    this recipe sure looks like one I’d like to fit into my day.

  6. September 1, 2008 11:09 am

    I think I’ll try this one, I haven’t made B & B’s for a while. This year I won’t be able to do dills but I’ve got plenty of cuc’s for this as well as hundreds of peppers to pickle. Have you got a good recipe for those?? Pickletorial is very apt!

  7. Gina permalink
    September 1, 2008 2:39 pm

    Awww, such a cute baby!

    I wish I had this recipe two weeks ago-they look delicious!

    I did make B & B pickles for the first time this year. Being the only onion eater in the house (well, Lyndon is developing an opinion), I’ll be eating them by myself!

    (PS will look up your butterfly tomorrow at work).

  8. September 1, 2008 6:40 pm

    That recipe sounds good, kinda similar to the zucchini pickles I make. Maybe I will try with the last of the cukes.

  9. September 2, 2008 5:04 pm

    Ohhhh, look at you! What a darling photo! You look quite happy there in the yard!

    I loved this recipe. I’d love to give this a go. Our neighbor growing up used to make homemade pickles, and I loved them (except for the ones she canned in yellow mustard … they were awful … and I like yellow mustard so that says something!). This post was terrific. I especially like your step by step photos. YUM!

  10. September 2, 2008 10:45 pm

    LatigoLiz, those pickles are good, cukes are still coming on down here.

    Mick, it’s as good of excuse as any to eat curry! 😉

    Kathie, you’re welcome.

    Kristen, that’s too bad about the garden, but wow, the orchard and strawberries, that’s the great thing. They will live for a long time. The deer have chomped my strawberries down to the nubs. I’m going to have to start over again next year.

    Hayden, this recipe came from a outdoor gal, she didn’t stay in the house too much, that’s what I like about it, you can plan your day around the canning part. The rest is kind of open to interpretation.

    Linda, I’m jealous of your peppers, ours have set, but the cold nights kind of slowed them down.

    Gina, I have no idea what happened to that cute baby! It might be nice to have something that only you will eat, sometimes that baby in me comes back, and I don’t want to share – I’m as bad as our dogs, resource guarding 😉 growl, gnash…

    Kim, it’s pretty easy, it might fit in your busy schedule.

    Paula, yeah those were my topless days. Oooh that mustard pickle sounds terrible! These are good enough to eat right out of the jar. A quart of dill pickles will last around here for at least 5 years. Last year a neighbor gave us some B & B pickles and they were terrible, so we gave them to the pigs, and they wouldn’t eat them either! I hope she makes something different this year… 😉

  11. September 3, 2008 5:15 pm

    Hey MOH! Thanks for posting this recipe! I’ve been looking for a good one. These are my hubby’s favs.

    Looks delicious… I didn’t plant any though. This might be the one thing I have to buy in order to can this year.

  12. September 6, 2008 12:08 am

    Bought some cukes today. Going to give a small batch a try tomorrow. 🙂

  13. September 6, 2008 10:12 pm

    Got 2 quarts ot of the cukes I had. Decent shot at trying, and just enough leftover juice for potato salad makings.

  14. Dennis permalink
    September 1, 2010 10:39 am

    We just finnished 8lbs of these and I know your supposed to give them a week but I couldn’t wait.

    These are fabulous!!!

  15. Dennis permalink
    September 1, 2010 10:42 am

    Soooo… Where is your Dill pickle recipe? I know you must do those too.

    • September 1, 2010 11:51 am

      Dennis, actually none of us really care for dills too much – just can’t stay out of the bread and butters and the pumpkin pickles. I got tired of making dill pickles and never using them at all 😦

  16. June 4, 2012 1:12 pm

    These are delicious. I can make a meal out of these pickles and some saltine crackers.Thank you for this easy tasty bread and butter pickle recipe.

  17. steve permalink
    August 26, 2014 11:45 am

    Just started salting a batch – wondering how long do I have to wait until they are ready to eat?

    • August 26, 2014 12:17 pm

      Couple weeks, I’ve just been committing mine to the fridge and skipping the canning part…yummy!

      • Stumplifter (Andrea) permalink
        September 7, 2014 6:43 pm

        Do they still keep for up to 3 years without canning? I’m a big fan of NOT canning. Is it the vinegar that does such a good job of preservation? I am giving this recipe a go because the one I tried previous was lousy – mushy and just off-tasting, plus your description of Emma makes me want to cuss, drink a beer and make some of her pickles.

        • September 8, 2014 4:08 am

          Andrea, you know when I do refrigerator pickles (without canning) they don’t last that long because I don’t have that much room in the fridge for pickle storage. I think several factors make a difference, fresh cucumbers, salt treatment to draw out the liquid, and a short processing time. If I make them for the fridge, I do the salt treatment, drain pack in the jars and pour boiling brine over them and seal, once they are cooled I refrigerate. Delicious and crispy!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: