What is it about Bread & Butter Pickles? Some people tell me they only like Dill Pickles, but when I give them a little taste of my Bread & Butter Pickle Slices, they light up right away.
Is it the crispy-crunch?
The harmonic blend of sweet & savory?
Maybe it's the nostalgia factor.
I know for me it's all three of these things.
Bread & Butter Pickle Slices were the first homemade pickle I ever tried, and ever since then they've remained near & dear to my heart. In the late '70s I spent quite a bit of time at my best friend Mardell's kitchen table, fork in hand, pickle crock in front of me. Her mom Betty was a canner, and one of her specialties was her Bread & Butter Pickle Slices. Looking back I'm embarrassed I ate so many of their pickles, and regretful that even though I was a just a teenager, I didn't think to ask Betty for her priceless pickle recipe. Even thought I don't have Betty Smith's original recipe, I think that after a few attempts I've gotten pretty darn close.
The first thing you need to do is salt & ice the veggies:
Put together a bag of pickling spices to impart flavor into the brine:
Make a brine, add the bag of pickling spices, then add the drained veggie mixture to the brine and bring to a boil.
This might seem obvious, but don't put the used bag of pickling spices into the jars; set it aside and either compost or discard the used bag of pickling spices before spooning veggie mixture into the jars.
Ladle veggie mixture into jars using a slotted spoon.
Fill jars with just the veggies first....
...and then ladle brine into jars once all the jars are full of the vegetable mixture. This ensures tightly-packed jars. Otherwise you might have too much brine in the jars and the vegetables might float.
I sealed my Bread & Butter Pickles Slices in jars so I could store them in my pantry, but if you have any leftover brine, put it in a crock in your fridge, and add some raw vegetables to it. Over the next few weeks the brine will infuse the vegetables and who knows, those pickled veggies might just make some happy memories for someone else. If you make someone happy AND inspire them to learn to preserve, even better.