In a Pickle »

Jarred, canned, pickled, and preserved.

In a Pickle: Bread and Butter Pickles

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[Photographs: Marisa McClellan]

Sweet pickles. You either love them or you call them an abomination to all pickle-kind. I'm something of a fan myself and feel that any well-stocked pickle pantry is incomplete without a few sweet options to balance out all that unadulterated tartness.

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Most years, I make a couple small batches of classic bread and butter pickles to eat with tuna salad or tucked into a post-Thanksgiving turkey sandwich (don't knock it, it's a delicious combination).

I've been told that bread and butter pickles got their name from the role they played during lean times. Tucked between buttered slices of brown bread, even the smallest sandwich had the ability to satisfy your taste buds and leave you feeling as if you'd had a filling meal.

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Before You Get Started

If you've never had a homemade sweet pickle, I implore you to try a batch. They're not painfully sweet in the way that the grocery store version is. This recipe might just make a believer out of you!

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I make these pickles in small batches, because I buy my ingredients at the farmers' market. However, if your garden is bursting with cucumbers, peppers and onions, feel free to double or triple this batch.

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After the vegetables are all sliced, you salt them generously and let them sit. The salt helps drain out the water and makes for a crisper pickle. In the recipe is say to just let them sit for an hour. However, in the past, I've salted them just before bed and kept them in the fridge all night. If that helps make them more manageable for you, feel free to do it that way.

About the author: Marisa McClellan is a food writer, canning teacher, and dedicated pickler who lives in Center City Philadelphia. Find more of her jams, pickles and preserves (all cooked up in her 80-square-foot kitchen) at her blog, Food in Jars. Her first book, also called Food in Jars, is now available.

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