Bread & Butter Pickles

015From what I have read, Bread & Butter Pickles originated in the Great Depression.  Since times were tough and meat was a luxury, thrifty folks came up with tasty alternatives for sandwich fillers.  On of these alternatives was the cucumber.   This vegetable was easy to grow and was successfully pickled so that it could be enjoyed in the non-growing seasons.  So….maybe the name came about  something like this…… “Hey Ester, what are we havin’ for lunch?”, said Wilbur.  “Well, since you ain’t got no job and you lost the pig in that card game…….all’s I got in the cellar are some sweet pickles from last summer.   Be happy that you got two slices of bread and a bit of butter to go with it.  Now eat that pickle sandwich before I take this skillet to your head!”    “Mmmmmmmm, said Wilbur.  That’s a mighty tasty sandwich.”  “Hey Ester, whad’ you call these there pickles you got in this here sandwich?”……  “I don’t know, you old coot.  Call’em whatever you want”. Well, in that case, I’m gonna’ call “em Bread & Butter Pickles!”……….And that’s how these pickles got their name.  Well….that’s the story I’m sticking with!

These pickles are easy to make and follow the general canning guidelines of most pickles.

Makes 5 Pint (500ml) jars.


3 lbs. pickling cucumbers

3 medium onions, thinly sliced

1/2 cup  pickling salt (Don’t use table salt.  It will cloud your liquid and turn your pickles to an unpleasant color.)

6 cups cold water

3 cups cider vinegar

2 cups firmly packed brown sugar

2 tbsp.  mustard seed

1 tsp. celery seed

1 tsp. ground cloves

1 tsp.  turmeric


001Weigh, wash and gently scrub all cucumbers.  Discard any cucumbers that appear spoiled.

002Cut approximately 1/4″ off of each end of the cucumber.  It is essential that you cut  the blossom end (not stem) because there is an enzyme at this end which will make your pickles turn mushy and possibly unsafe to eat.  The blossom end is located on the left side in the above picture.

Cut your cucumbers into 1/4″ slices and place them in a large bowl.

Thinly slice 3 onions and place them in the same bowl.

Add pickling salt to the water and stir until dissolved.  This make take a bit of stirring because the salt will not dissolve as readily in cold water.  Add the solution to your cucumbers and onions  and let it rest for 2 hours.  I occasionally give it a stir during this time period.004

With about a half an hour left of brining, fill your canner up with water about 2 inches higher than the height of your jars and bring the water to a boil.  This will take a bit of time.

Sterilize your jars in the oven at 225 degrees Fahrenheit  for 10 minutes and continue to keep them warm in the oven until they are needed.003

Place canning seals and rings in a small pot and begin to warm them up.005

In the mean time, add brown sugar, cider vinegar and spices into a large pot and bring to a boil.  Stir occasionally.006

Once the 2 hours of brining is completed, drain the cucumbers and onions into a colander.  Fill the bowl with fresh water and rinse again.

Put the drained cucumber and onion mixture into your large simmering pot and bring the ingredients up to a boil.

Using a canning funnel, pack your mixture into your canning jars, leaving 1/2″ head space.  I found it easier to fill all the jars first with the “solids” and then distribute the liquid after.012

014  Using a non-metalic utensil, remove the air bubbles from the jar.  Add more liquid to the 1/2″ head space level if required.

Wipe the lip of each jar with a wet paper towel.  This will ensure that no residue is left on the lip of the jar which will prevent a good seal.

Using tongs, place your seals and rings on each jar.

Using canning tongs, carefully place each sealed jar into the canner and process in boiling water for 10 minutes.025

Using the canning tongs, carefully remove each jar from the boiling water and leave to cool on a rack.

Soon you will hear the successful ping of each jar as it seals.  Now tuck those babies away in the cantina or cold cellar until the colder months when you’ll need a reminder of the summer!  If you can’t wait until then……just give them a few days to flavor!023


10 thoughts on “Bread & Butter Pickles

  1. Such a timely post! I’ve been looking for a new b&b pickle recipe to try and I think this is it. The one I used had more onions and I’d rather have more cucumbers! Thanks!

  2. My hubby loves b&b pickles but I’m afraid to can. I’d rather have someone along side me who knows what their doing supervising LOL! You make it look easy, maybe I should just try it. Found your link at From the Farm Blog Hop……. thanks for sharing!

  3. Hi Rick! I wanted to pop by and say hello and thank you for joining us at Farmgirl/Boy Friday last week! Love the title of your blog. You are among many friends who feel they are ” stuck in the past ” at Dandelion House, and the other fine homesteading blog hops out there! I do hope you’ll join us again! Oh, and I love bread and butter pickles…You’re tutorial is fabulous!

      • Howdy Rick! Stopping by to congratulate you on being this weeks Tasty Tuesday Feature at Dandelion House Homestead! I’m enjoying your blog ( and your writing ):)
        Looking forward to more good ” stuff ” here!
        Thanks again for sharing with the Farmgirl Friday Community! Deb

          • Hi CB! Ya know, I don’t call it Farmgirl Friday to exclude farmboys, it’s because my hop was inspired by MaryJaneButters, of MaryJanesFarm who coined the phrase, ” Farmgirl is a condition of the heart”. I think farmboy is too! So, with that in mind, I’ll probably leave it for now… Just know…all farmboys are welcome!
            See you Friday!

          • Hi Debbie,
            You have a great site and informative posts for your Hop.
            Thanks again for the feature. Your button is proudly displayed on my site.
            See you Friday!
            AKA Farm Boy

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