Bread and Butters

After fininshing long day of gardening, canning and cooking, a question popped into my head: How did bread and butter pickles get their name?

After doing a little searching, I came up with several answers. However, most of them had one thing in common. They said the pickles picked up their name during the Great Depression.

One article said that the sweet crunchy pickles were were a staple because they were cheap, shelf-stable and could become a meal when sandwiched between bread and butter. Another said they got their name because they were as regular a part of a diet as bread and butter. They days, people use the tangy slices as more of a condiment.

Regardless, they are sweet!

For those of you who aren’t aficionados of cucumbers that are canned, there is a difference between bread and butter pickles and sweet pickles. Sweet pickles use cinnamon, cloves and allspice in a vinegar-sugar brine. Bread and butter pickles are made with turmeric. mustard, and onion in a vinegar-sugar brine.

We’ve already put nine pints of bread and butter pickles on the shelf, and I expect to make a couple of dozen more before all is said and done. Also, we’ve canned 11 quarts of dills, and I’m hoping for another 20 or so.

The recipe we use for our bread and butters is from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. It’s very similar to the one my mom and grandma used. For those of you who want to give it a try, here it is.

And yes, they are still good on a slice of bread. And so very tasty on a peanut butter sandwich.

Crisp Pickle Slices
4 quarts sliced, unpared medium cucumbers
6 medium white onions, slices (6 cups)
2 green peppers, sliced
3 cloves garlic
1/3 cup granulated pickling salt
5 cups sugar
3 cups cider vinegar
1½ teaspoons turmeric
1½ teaspoons celery seed
2 tablespoons mustard seed
Combine cucumber, onion, green pepper and whole garlic cloves. Add salt; cover with cracked ice; mix thoroughly. Let stand 3 hours; drain well. Remove garlic. Combine remaining ingredients; pour over cucumber mixture. Bring to boil.
Fill hot jars, leaving ½-inch headspace; adjust lids. Process in boiling water for 5 minutes (start timing when water returns to boiling).
Yield: 8 pints.