Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Spicy Bread & Butter Pickles

Bread and Butter pickles are just a recipe for a sweet sour pickle.  They got the name "bread and butter" during the great depression when fresh cucumbers were eaten for lunch with bread and butter, and a cheap source of what was considered a vegetable back in the day.  Moms could grow the cucumbers, serve them fresh as long as they lasted without refrigeration, but then had to pickle them to make them last all the rest of the year.  In the summer cucumber sandwiches were very popular, thin slices of cucumbers on bread with butter ~ very English.  But what then to do with the leftover garden produce??  Well pickle it of course!!

While we know now that cooking destroys many of the vitamins in any food product, back then they did not know that.  So they used the bread and butter pickle as a substitute for fresh cucumber sandwiches.  Which they seriously thought were nutritious.  On that note, you will notice this recipe calls for removing the pot of sugary/vinegar with the cucumbers in it, from the heat as soon as it comes to a boil.  This, along with the ice bath before hand, helps to insure a crisper pickle.  And speaking of heat, spicy heat that is, these have a good kick to them.  Well Darlin, we are from Texas after all....

Spicy Bread and Butter Pickles
The Chef In My Head

Makes about 12 quarts

22 medium sized cucumbers, but into 1/4 inch slices
6 onion, thinly sliced
1 red pepper, finely diced
1 orange pepper, finely diced
1 banana pepper, finely diced
2 jalapeño peppers, quartered lengthwise and sliced in thin strips
6 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
4 Tbl red pepper flakes
3/4 C pickling and canning salt
3 C apple cider vinegar
5 cups sugar
2 Tbl mustard seed
1-1/2 tsp whole cloves
2 tsp celery seed
2 tsp ground turmeric

Mix sliced cucumbers, peppers, garlic, onion and salt in a large bowl.  Cover all ingredients with water and add ice to the top of the bowl.  Let stand for 3 hours.

In a large pot, bring cider vinegar, sugar, mustard seed, celery ceed, red pepper flakes, cloves and turmeric to a boil.

Rinse and drain the cucumber/vegetable mixture and add to the hot vinegar solution.

Remove from heat just before boiling so that you do not cook your cucumbers.

Fill sterilized jars with the pickles, add jar lids and rims, and process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes.  New to canning? Click here!

You can eat these right away if you can't help yourself, but they are MUCH better a couple of weeks later!! Great as gifts!!

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