Each summer, 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.
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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- 4 cups thickly sliced pickling cucumbers (8 to 10 pickling cucumbers)
- 1 cup sliced red bell peppers (about 1 small)
- 1 cup sliced onion (about 1 medium)
- 2 tablespoons pickling salt
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon mustard seed
- 1 teaspoon celery seed
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Prepare two pint jars and a small canning pot. Combine the sliced cucumbers, bell peppers, onion, and pickling salt in a colander set in a large bowl. Refrigerate for one hour to remove excess liquid. Rinse vegetables and discard liquid.
Combine the vinegar and sugar in a large pot. Heat over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Add the mustard seed, celery seed, red pepper flakes and cloves. Increase the heat to high and bring the brine to a boil.
Add the drained vegetables and stir to combine. Cook for 5 minutes, until all the vegetables in the brine are fully heated through. Using tongs, fill the sterilized jars with the vegetables. Slowly pour the hot brine over the vegetables in each jar, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
Gently tap the jars on a towel-lined countertop to help loosen any bubbles before using a wooden chopstick to dislodge any remaining bubbles. Check the headspace again and add more brine if necessary.
Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Let these pickles cure for at least 48 hours before eating.