Originally I didn’t plan to blog on Sunday. However, we have been traveling the last 11 days and so yesterday I didn’t get a chance to be at the computer at all. So, I have already broken my first rule — and I am updating my blog today! Happy Father’s Day to all. My dad has been gone since 1977, but I still miss him and I look forward to the time we meet again, on the other side of Heaven.
My mom would occasionally make pickles when I was growing up. She made Sweet Pickles, which was my grandmother’s recipe. This last week I met up with my Auntie Carol, cousin Beth and cousin Sherry, and Carol and Beth both gave me recipes from my Grandmother, one of which is her Sweet Pickles recipe. Last night my husband gathered the first cucumbers of the season from the garden – 21 to be exact. Tomorrow I am making my Grandmother’s sweet pickles. But for now I want to share my own bread and butter pickles experience!
It wasn’t until I met my neighbor, and longtime friend Sue, that I tried my hand at canning. I am sure when Sue reads this what she will remember is the time I blew the safety valve clean out of her pressure cooker trying to can some green beans. I think she still has the bowed and deformed canner to this day. Everybody has to start somewhere … I’m just saying. However, I digress.
Pickles. This recipe comes from my husband’s aunt Mattie Lou. She not only gave me the recipe, but she loaded up all her supplies, fresh pickling cucumber’s from her sister’s truck farm, and came to my home to give me a personal lesson in making bread and butter pickles. We had a grand time and canned some awesome pickles (even if I do say so myself!) However, to this day I cannot cut slices of pickles evenly and fast like Mattie Lou can. She is able to stand at the counter, look at me while talking and telling stories and cut one cucumber after another without even looking down! At age 83 I wonder how many cucumbers she has sliced over the years? Hmmmm…..
So here it is, from her home, to mine, to yours. Happy slicing!
Bread and Butter Pickles From Mattie Lou
Makes about 6 pints
- 4 quarts sliced pickling cucumbers
- 4 med onions, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup coarse salt
- 1 sweet green pepper chopped
- 1 sweet red pepper chopped
- 1 teaspoon alum
- 2 gloves garlic crushed
- Cover with ice water for 3 hours
Liquid and Seasoning
- 3 cups cider vinegar
- 5 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon celery seed
- 1 tablespoon mustard seed
- Slice Cucumbers, do not peel. Combine cucumbers, peppers, onions, alum, garlic, salt and ice in a large bowl.
- Mix well.
- Put a weight on the mixture and allow to stand 3 hours. (For a weight, I use a plate with a gallon bottle of vinegar or water on top of it).
- Drain thoroughly.
- Combine vinegar, sugar, turmeric, celery seed and mustard seed in a large pot.
- Add drained cucumbers.
- Place pot on medium low heat on the stovetop.
- Bring almost to a boil, but DO NOT ALLOW TO BOIL.
- Remove from heat.
- Seal in sterilized jars.
- 10 minutes in a hot water bath. Cool.
Easy way to sterilize jars:
Wash them well in hot soapy water.
Dry them off.
Place on a cookie sheet, right side up, at 225°F for 15 minutes.
Turn off oven and leave them in there until you need them.
For canning use the following techniques: (click on underlined word for link to more information)
- Canning using hot pack method with 1/2” of headspace.
- Processing with a Water Bath for 10 minutes at 212 degrees.
- For elevations above 1,000 foot level see Altitude Time Adjustments.
- After processing, remove from boiling water and place the jars on a towel,
separated by 1” to cool naturally as quickly as possible.
- Label and Store
(God’s words to Isaac) … That night the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bless you and will increase the number of your descendants for the sake of my servant Abraham.”