These pickles are one of my favourites, and I made them a fortnight ago. The recipe comes from the same Kansas-farmer grandmother as “The Best Cookies You’ll Ever Make,” and they are one of my comfort foods. There are hundreds of “bread and butter” pickle recipes out there in cyberland, so I’ll describe their taste: Sweet with a savoury aftertaste and sometimes just the opposite (think sweet & sour sauce), perfect for hamburgers, sandwiches, tuna salad or straight-up! They’re easy to make, and what I love most about them besides their taste is that fact that I know exactly what’s in them – no chemicals I can’t identify, preservatives that I can’t pronounce, or ingredients that are undeclared.
Farmer Bread & Butter Pickles
4 large cucumbers, thinly sliced (not too thinly)
2-4 small onions (shallots), thinly sliced
1 sweet red pepper, diced or thinly sliced
2½ C. vinegar
2½ C. sugar
7 tsp. salt
4 tsp. Mustard seeds
½ tsp. Turmeric
Combine all, bring to boil, stirring & lathing frequently. Simmer about 20 minutes (depending on how crunchy you want them). Pack into clean, hot jars, cleaning the rims of the jars off if necessary, and then seal at once. To Seal, screw the lid on tightly, place in a sink ½ full with hot water, and let soak; the jars will seal themselves with vacuum within a few minutes.
This recipe makes 5 average-sized (pint, or 1/2-litre) jars.