Saturday, October 10, 2009

Bread and Butter Pickles...a memory of taste


For the first four years of my life I lived with my grandmother, along with my three older siblings. We were quite a handful, I'm told and my grandparents were old school... it was german farm life...washing on Monday, ironing on Tuesday, baking bread on Wednesday. Each season had it's own list of tasks, always preparing, planning or harvesting something or lots of things.As strict as they could be, we had dessert every night after dinner and I loved Thursday because it was chocolate pudding day. Grandma would make it in the afternoon and pour it into individual bowls and let it cool on the counter, where it would form the best skin. I know now that it's preferrable to cover your pudding to avoid the top drying out, but when I was a kid, it was my favorite part. The other absolute favorite thing my grandmother made every year was bread and butter pickles. They were always brought out at dinner, and had they allowed me to have more than 'just a little' I surely would've eaten a jar a night. We moved out of their house about the time I started school and whenever grandma visited she would bring me a fresh jar. It made the difficult transition somehow easier knowing I had something of her around always. (I know, they were just pickles...give me a break, I was five!)
Still, whenever I miss my grandmother, (who died 20 years ago!)... to conjure her up, I make a batch of her pickles.

Granny T's Bread and Butter Pickles

6 Qts or 15- 6" cukes, sliced thin
6 medium onions, sliced thin
1/2 cup pickling salt
mix these together thoroughly in a large glass bowl
Let sit 3 hours and then drain, but do not rinse
in a large stainless pot mix:
6 cups white vinegar
4 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup whole yellow mustard seed
1 teaspoon celery seed
Bring brine to a boil, add cukes and bring back to a low boil.
ladle into hot jars and process in a hot water bath 10 minutes
Yield about 8 pints

3 comments:

Barbara said...

You surprise and amaze me once again! How do you do that after, lo these many years?

Parri said...

Great memory, sis! I always think of those good times when I see a jar of bread & butter pickles. I see a jar of corn relish in your pic too - those were a top fav too.

Carri said...

Barb, darling, You are my muse...you know that don't you?!
Good to see you out there, sister, dear! Yes corn relish, too...makes me very sentimental, in a yummy way!