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Waltham Fields Community Farm (incorporated as Community Farms Outreach, Inc.) is a nonprofit farming organization focusing on sustainable food production, fresh food assistance, and on-farm education. For more information about Waltham Fields check out our website!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Bread and Butter Pickles

My first taste of a home-preserved harvest was a jar of bread and butter pickles my grandfather had made for Christmas celebrations when I was a child. I remember thinking those crisp and sweet disks were the most delicious pickles I had ever had. Truth be told, I still prefer these pickles to their dill counterparts (no offense to them; they'll be put up before the end of summer, too, using freshly-picked dill heads and garlic from the garden).

With an abundance of cucumbers on hand, I decided to try out this tested and true Ball Blue Book recipe for bread and butter pickles, canned for shelf stability using the boiling-water bath method.

Bread and Butter Pickles
makes about 7 pints

  • 4 lbs 4-6 inch cucumbers, cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 2 lbs onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup canning salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tbsp mustard seed
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp celery seed
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 3 cups vinegar


Combine cucumber and onion slices in a large bowl, layering with salt; cover with ice cubes and let stand 1 1/2 hours. Drain; rinse; drain again. Combine remaining ingredients in a large saucepot; bring to a boil. Add drained cucumbers and onions and return to a boil. Pack hot pickles and liquid into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Adjust two-piece caps. Process 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner.


Image by Rebekah Carter (2011). Recipe from the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving.

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