Welcome to Day 10 of What have I gotten myself into? (aka NaBloPoMo). I’m actually surprised that I’ve found something to post everyday without struggling. Then again, I did have a lot to share from the 4th of July which helped. But I woke up this morning and thought “I got nothing”. What to do? Worry not, dear readers. My disorganization came to the rescue. Fact: anything I put away for safe keeping will be lost…. at least temporarily.
Which brings us to the pickles. I actually made these bread and butter pickles in May. I took pictures too. But I didn’t want to post it then because they had to sit for four weeks before I could taste them. So I left them on my hard drive for a later day. The pickles have been tasted and shared. And I forgot that I had those pictures and had not shared them… until this morning. I was not-quite-desperately looking through my photos to see if there was something I could use today (I almost used a cat picture but you were saved by the pickles… tomorrow though, you may get cats unless I get creative between now and then).
We ate an entire jar of these on the fourth of July. One friend told me she doesn’t normally like pickles but went back for seconds. The recipe came from the Ball Blue Book of Preserving. I’ve also made strawberry jam from this book (for the Bakewell Tarts). I did not have mustard seeds so substituted dry mustard which I wasn’t too sure about at the time, but it worked. The main difference is the brine turned cloudy rather than clear.
I’m really happy with the results and with the fact that I still have three jars left. I would like to try some other pickles as well but probably the next one will be a quicker pickle, something like pickled grapes (as seen at Smitten Kitchen. Recipe from Molly Wizenberg‘s book A Homemade Life) or bread and butter jalapeños (on Homesick Texan, scroll down toward the bottom for the recipe). I’m also curious about pickled watermelon rind… have you ever tried it? I’m really into pickles and jams this summer…
Bread and Butter Pickles
(adapted from Ball Blue Book of Preserving)
2 pounds 4 to 6 inch cucumbers, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 pound onions, thinly sliced
< 1/4 cup canning salt (I halved the recipe, which means it took about 1/6 cup…ish)
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon dry mustard (mustard seeds would be better probably)
1 teaspoon tumeric
1 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
1 1/2 cups vinegar
1. Combine cucumber and onion slices in a large bowl, layering with salt.
2. Cover with ice cubes and let stand 1 1/2 hours.
3. Drain, rinse, drain again.
4. Combine remaining ingredients in a large saucepot. Bring to a boil.
5. Add drained cucumbers and onions and return to a boil.
6. Pack hot pickles and liquid into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.
7. Remove air bubbles. Put on 2-piece lids.
8. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner.
9. Allow 4 to 6 weeks for flavors to develop (This was the toughest part).
* Makes about 4 pints