Phyllis really likes bread and butter pickles and although I prefer garlic dills I have to admit a good bread and butter pickle goes with almost any sandwich. Well maybe not peanut butter.
I remember back when I was first exposed to this type of pickle, in my mothers canning cupboard. I was a little confused by the presents of many things that I did not consider to be pickle. Of course the cucumber was identifiable but why were there onions in there and what are those little round things and other strange looking ( to me ) things that settled to the bottom of the jar?
Since in those days, I did not pay much attention to my mothers canning, there was no way for me to know about the various spices and vegetables that were combined to give the bread and butter pickle its sweet and spicy flavor.
Fast forward to 2004 and we were getting ready to plant our first official garden at our new place. As the seeds began to arrive in March we noticed a pack of cucumbers that we did not order. I believe it was from Park Seeds. It was called the Eureka Cucumber and we were not sure we wanted to plant them. They looked a bit squat and stubby and not like a pealing cucumber at all. But waste not want not, we started some and set them out to grow on the stick fence that surrounds the asparagus garden. We put a few more of them in the row gardens with no staking.
The weather that year was a bit wet to begin with but they did well. We were really surprised at how fast they went from fingerling to full blown cukes. That is if you can call a 6″ by 2″ or 3″ cuke full blown. We sliced up a few and they were OK for eating but the trouble was they were coming in by the peck each day. We put some on the stand and they sold but we had many more than we could possibly deal with.
Since they were billed as a dual use cuke, for pickles and slicing, we decided to put some up. The fruits were rather fleshy with medium sized seeds and they would become fat and yellow in a day if we did not pick them in time. So we continued to picked them and kept them cool.
We decided to make both bread and butter and dill pickles but in the end we made 2 versions of the bread and butter and one of the dills. As it turned out they worked perfect for the former and not so hot for the latter. The problem with the dills is they were soft and opaque, and not to my liking. The kids on the other hand made short work of the dills.
We found the recipes at at the Minnesota cooperative extension web site. We use them a lot since their climate is similar to ours.
Our favorites were the spicy bread and butter pickle. We omitted the liming process and they were fine. The trick is to get them just as they are ripe, because if you wait a day more they become soft and not so good.
We have run out of pickles and we went to the store to see what was available. We were very disappointed when we found every version of bread and butter pickle had high fructose corn syrup as a sweetener. Except for one and that one had Splenda. This is a perfect example of why it is far better to put up your own. I am ordering the seeds this week.Please share this page