Super Simple Bread and Butter Pickles


I am not a pickle person. I never have been. I’m not particularly fond of dill, is my main problem.

When I was younger, I would make pickles for 4-H, and people said they were good, but I never tried them.

Now that I’m a little older, I can tolerate a pickle if I have to, but I still don’t like them. I’m better with them mixed into things (tuna salad, say) than I used to be. I’m trying not to pass my pickle prejudice on to the next generation.

bread and butter pickles
My pickles, waiting to be consumed.

I’m actually kind of starting to like bread and butter pickles.

These crunchy, sweet beauties are not laced with dill, so they’re spicy in a good way. They’re also dead simple to make, and once you buy the spices once you’ll be able to have pickles whenever you want so long as you’ve got a cucumber hanging around and a week to wait.

It’s worth it, I promise.

After the snow last week, I’m hesitant to say it’s going to stay warm this time. But I did buy my first local strawberries today, and I made my first batch of pickles (from a regular, store-bought cuke, for shame), so I’m doing what I can to ward off one last cold snap.

This recipe comes from Alton Brown’s Good Eats: The Early Years. (That’s an Amazon link, but I get no money from it.) I’ve barely changed it at all. I love this recipe because it’s one jar. You don’t need a million cucumbers to make it (though if you had a million cucumbers, you could make a bunch). It’s also not preserved in the sense of canning, sticking it on a shelf and eating it years hence. This needs to be refrigerated from day one.

What You’ll Need pickle spices

  • 1 cucumber (the recipe calls for two medium, but in these pictures, I just used one; use your judgement based on your definition of “medium”)
  • 1/2 medium white onion
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar (I used just a little less this time around, because I used less cucumber)
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon each yellow mustard seeds, ground turmeric, celery seeds and pickling spice
  • 1-quart Mason jar with lid

What You’ll Do pickle making

  1. Clean your jar if you need to.
  2. Mix everything but the onions and the cucumbers in a saucepan. Stir, bring to boil and let simmer for 4 minutes.
  3. While that’s working, thinly slice your cucumber and onion. Go slow; this should take a few minutes unless you have much better knife skills than I do.
  4. Pour the liquid over the cucumbers until they’re well covered and the jar is basically full. pickles in juice
  5. Allow to cool, top off with any remaining liquid if necessary to keep the slices covered, pop on the lid and stash in the refrigerator for a week before consuming.

AB says they’re good for 2 months after opening, but I’m not sure they’ll last that long.

What recipes signal summer to you? I’d love it if you’d share!

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