I think August is my favourite summer month. Blueberries, peaches, corn, tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers...there's just so much delicious local produce out there! And the weather is starting to cool down a little too, which makes me want to spend some more time in the kitchen.
Last week I took advantage of all the pickling cucumbers available at the farmers' markets and made bread and butter pickles. YUM! Not everyone I know likes sweet pickles, but I love 'em. I love all pickles though, so maybe that's just me. I grew up on these kind of pickles and they're probably one of my faves.
Anyways, I grabbed a basket of pickling cucumbers from the Hamilton Farmer's Market and used this recipe from Canadian Living.
First off, sterilize six 500mL jars.
Thinly slice 4 lbs of cucumbers, 2 onions, and 1 red pepper. Toss them together with a bunch of ice cubes and a 1/4 cup of pickling salt, then put some more ice on top of them. Let them sit like that for 3 hours, then drain, rinse, and drain again. Set aside.
In a pot, measure out sugar, cider vinegar, mustard seeds, celery seeds, turmeric, and ground cloves. I actually ran out of brine just over halfway through canning and had to make more (pain in the bum!), so I would actually double the brine recipe to be safe.
Pack the pickles and the brine into the 500mL jars, leaving a 1/2'' headspace. Wipe the rims if necessary, put the lids on, et voila! Bread and butter pickles! Wait 2-3 weeks before trying them. I haven't sampled mine yet, but I can't wait. Yum.
Bread and Butter Pickles, by Canadian Living
4lbs of small cucumbers
1 red pepper
1/4 cup pickling salt
a bunch of ice cubes (around 32)
the brine (I suggest doubling it to be safe...):
3 cups of granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups of cider vinegar
3 tbsp mustard seed
1 tbsp celery seed
1 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp ground cloves