“They’re good. For sweet pickles.”
“I hate sweet pickles, but these aren’t bad.”
Ok, ok… so even I’m not the hugest fan of sweet pickles. Given the choice, I will take a dill over any other pickle. (And, to take it even further, with very few exceptions, I will take a store bought dill over homemade. I know. I’m a bad person.)
That said, bread & butter pickles have always been a guilty pleasure for me. Especially with grilled cheese or tuna sandwiches. There’s just something about them. If I am in the right mood, the salty-sweet-sourness is irresistible. I don’t go so far as to actually buy them, though. I wait until I’m at a funeral or salad bar to get my fix. Usually, a once-a-year taste is enough. Until now, that is.
I came across this recipe at just the right time. Not only had it been 12+ months since my last b&b pickle fix, I had almost everything on-hand to whip up a jarful.
Yes, that’s right. ONE jar. None of this over-the-top, stock-the-bomb shelter, all-day preserving madness; I made one jar of perfectly lovely refrigerator pickles.
And they were good. Very good. Even the skeptical teenager was caught on more than one occasion with his (figurative) hand in the pickle jar. I found myself planning meals around them… if you can call crackers and marble cheddar a “meal”.
They were supposed to be good in the fridge for 2 weeks, but they didn’t make it. Truth be told, they didn’t even make it untouched through the 24 hour curing period. We were into them that first night. Ok, afternoon.
I used a dead-simple recipe, found on Recipe Girl, and I wouldn’t change a thing. They were absolutely, positively perfect. And way better than store bought. (Although they looked pretty damn professional, if I do say so myself.)
Bread & Butter Pickles
5 1/2 cups thinly sliced* pickling cucumbers
1 1/2 tbsp kosher salt
1 cup thinly sliced white onion
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp celery seeds
1/8 tsp turmeric
Step 1: combine sliced cucumbers and salt in a large, shallow bowl. Refrigerate 1 1/2 hours. Transfer to a colander and rinse thoroughly under cold running water. Drain and return to (rinsed) bowl. Toss with sliced onions.
Step 2: in a saucepan, combine vinegars, sugars, and spices. Bring to a simmer, stirring until sugar is completely dissolved.
Step 3: transfer cucumbers and onion slices to a large, clean glass jar. (Pack ’em in tightly!) Carefully fill jar with hot vinegar mixture. Let stand at room temperature, then refrigerate for 24 hours before eating. Use within 2 weeks.
*I used a “fancy” (read: dollar store) crinkle-cut slicer for my cucumbers, but straight-cut would work just fine.