Saturday, August 7, 2010

Lillian Grows Pickles

A side of my Mom's bread & butter pickles that we had for lunch today.

From the jar that she recently sent home with us. They are so good.

So good, in fact, that I asked if I could take home the leftover pickle juice from the jar we had finished up together the other day at lunch. Because I had a plan.

As I went out to my garden this morning to check on the progress of my Japanese cucumbers I had planted, I suddenly remembered something my Uncle Bill used to ask me during one of our visits to Maine, long before we finally moved here. He would jokingly ask me, "Lillian, did you know that your Uncle Bill can grow pickles?" Then he would walk me out to his garden and show me his crop of pickling cucumbers.
This year in my garden, I planted the longer Japanese cucumbers, because they have very little seeds just like the tiny pickling cucumbers that came from my Uncle Bill and Aunt Joyce's garden.

Anyway, my plan was to pack my cucumbers into the jar of my Mom's leftover pickle juice, because, did I mention how amazing her pickles are? (My Uncle Bill was my Mom's brother.)

And although I'm quite sure my Uncle Bill and Aunt Joyce never used my little shortcut when they were growing their "pickles," it occurred to me that I, Lillian, had just grown some pickles too. Sort of. Because here they are right in the leftover pickle juice from my Mom's jar.

Here's a picture of my Aunt Joyce and Uncle Bill of whose memory I will forever hold in my heart.

And in case you have some "pickles" you have grown this year, here's my Mom's recipe for bread & butter pickles.

Bread & Butter Pickles

6 quarts cukes, sliced
1 quart onions, sliced

Make a brine of 1 cup of pickling salt into 9 cups of water, stir,
add cukes and onions and let them set for at least 3 hours, or overnight.

Drain and discard brine.

Make a syrup of 5 cups of white sugar, 6 cups of cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon of turmeric, 1 teaspoon mustard seed, 1 teaspoon celery seed, and 1 stick of cinnamon. Stir and heat up just to boiling and then drop the vegetables into the syrup and make sure vegetables are heated through without boiling.

In the meantime, put your canning jars (pint size) into hot water and bring them to a boil for about 5 minutes, then pick them up out of the water with tongs. Separately, put your lids and screw caps into hot water (do not boil).
Fill jars with hot cucumbers, make sure you wipe around the rims before you put on the lids and screw caps and turn them upside down on a towel to seal them.

When cool enough you can turn them right side up and make sure lids are properly sealed and do not pop up.

Makes about 6 pints, more or less depending on size of your vegetables.

Bon appetit!


Valerie said...

Thank you! I will try your Mom's recipe! How special to have had your Uncle Bill in your life, he sound like a very special man.


Piecefulafternoon said...

Bread and butter pickles - the best of summer. I use giant zuchinni - cut into quarters and take out the seeds - for bread and butter pickles - deeeelicious.

For tarter sauce I don't care for the tart vinegary taste of most of them - I finely chop bread and butter pickles to mix in the mayonnaise - makes a very mild tarter sauce. They are good on tuna sandwiches or just plain - I love B&B pickles.

Teri said...

Your Uncle Bill looks like he's a hoot! And your aunt looks like a very patient woman!

Was at the ReStore and they had the coolest metal art wall hanging with lobsters on them. Of course you and Henri immeditely came to mind. What fun to have a blog-friend in ME where my thoughts can now ramble to.

Maya @ Completely Coastal said...

I just love to read about your self sustained living. One day... that will be me too!

vicki said...

There is just nothing better in this world than an tomato sandwhich and some bread and butter pickles! Love that you saved the juice - great idea!

Your Aunt and Uncle are a treasure~~~


jennyfreckles said...

Looks delicious. It reminded me that my great aunt used to slice onions and cucumber very thinly and steep them in vinegar, to eat with ham salad. I'd forgotten that little bit of childhood.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much! I am definitely going to try this recipe. Isn't it wonderful to have recipes that are rooted in family memories? I loved this post.

seanymph said...

Tis the season. I found pickling cukes at the farmers market. So last week I made some garlic dills (posted recipe on my page too) and this week I got make Bread and Butter pickles for my bf. I bet those pickles your making will be good too. Ive seen others use this technique with even store bought pickle leftover juice. Just gotta keep em in the fridge tho.

puddinglane said...

My favourite sandwich is tasty cheddar cheese topped with bread and butter pickles! So how happy was I, to stumble across your blog and this recipe

Mickey (Michel) Johnson said...

...very cool. those cucumbers freshly cut up look divine. i love cucumbers in any fashion, but i must admit my favorite is home made pickles! thanks so much for sharing!

Privet and Holly said...

Aren't your
aunt and uncle
just so sweet??
These pickles
sound fantastic
and my mouth is
watering ~ YUM!
Nothing says summer
like these delights!
xx Suzanne

Ro Magnolia said...

YUM! Sounds exactly like my own Mum's recipe for pickles. My mouth is watering just thinking about them. :)

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Wonderful, I am just piling up the pickling cucumbers and considering all my options. You helped me!

All joys to you fearless nester!

Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

Tracey said...

Hi Lili!! WOW, homemade pickles, they sound divine!!! I love pickles, but have never even thought to grow and make my own...I'll have to try that next year! :)

Hugs ~

:) T

Elenka said...

Those cukes look like dangerous weapons right on the vine!

Chris :) said...

I grew a bunch of cukes this year, but between the girlfriend and the hairless guinea pigs, they never lasted long enough to pickle. She swears tey taste sooooo much better than the store ones.