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Homemade Pickles

August 20, 2011

 Who doesn’t love to see a crisp pickle next their deli sandwich?  A sandwich looks lonely without its pickle companion; like my husband says, “a sandwich without its pickle is just a bunch of bologna”. When I was growing up, my dad would even put a pickle on his rice crispy square for the ultimate sweet and tangy combination. (Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it.)

I have been around my fair share of canning events. When I was younger, my grandma on my dad’s side would make homemade ketchup, and my grandma on my mom’s side would can peaches, applesauce, and tomatoes.  To this day, my mom will can different varieties of fresh salsa near the end of the tomato season, but I have never canned pickles.  I had a strong desire to learn…pure enthusiasm and an odd excitement for pickle making! I did research on the best techniques, and called both of my grandmas for tips.  Even my cousin showed up for the event because she wanted to see what I was so pumped up about!

The pickle event was held at my Grandma Gaubatz’s house on a rainy summer day in August.  I had scoured the Soulard Farmer’s Market for cucumbers that were just right for pickling. My grandma already had old recipes out that have been handed down for generations.  She showed me the bread n’ butter recipe from my great-grandma and her favorite dill pickles.  She already had made a batch of the freezer pickles before I showed up.  Grandpa requested his favorite–‘million-dollar’ pickles (with onion and green peppers).  Rather than choosing just one type of pickle, we decided we had enough cooks in the kitchen to make several different types of pickles.  We got down to business, and by the end of the day I left with 4 different types.  Here is one of the recipes for you to try!

One of the few batch of pickles we made that day.

Bread and Butter Pickles:

Ingredients

    • 10 medium sized pickling cucumbers
    • 2-3 medium sized onions, thinly sliced (your preference on quanity)
    • 1/4 cup coarse salt
    • 1 cup vinegar (cider or white)
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
    • 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
    • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
    • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon ginger

Directions

  1. Wash cucumbers well and cut them into thin slices. You may peel if you prefer.
  2. Combine cucumbers, onions, and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Mix well, and let stand for 2-3 hours.
  4. Drain thoroughly.
  5. Heat vinegar, water, sugar, turmeric, celery seed, ginger and mustard seed in a large pot and bring to a boil.
  6. Add drained cucumbers and onions.
  7. Remove from heat.
  8. Transfer to sterilized jars, and clean the rim of the jar thoroughly before placing the lid on top!
  9.  Seal and chill in the refrigerator until serving.
See link on how to sterilize your canning jars:  http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/To-Sterilize-Jars-for-Pickling-100574

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Kristine Waggoner permalink*
    August 20, 2011 9:17 pm

    Laura, I love this post, especially the pictures of you and your family at the end!!!

  2. Jackie O permalink
    August 22, 2011 8:50 pm

    Laura, such a wonderful idea! I think it is great that your family was so involved. Now I want to some up with something to have my family help me learn when I go home for the holidays. Thank you soooo much for sharing the event with us on the blog!

  3. Trev permalink
    August 31, 2011 7:54 am

    Those pickles were really good! It was amazing to see how a cucumber actually becomes a pickle. My favorites were the dill spears.

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