Grandma Lahr’s Bread & Butter Pickles

These are sweet, rather than tart, pickles. Perfect with a sandwich or topping a barbecue pork sandwich. A note on preservation: Like many of her day, my grandma just stored these pickle without processing. That’s a no-no now, so I store mine in the refrigerator.

Step 1: The Veggies

4 quarts (16 cups) thinly sliced cucumbers

1 white onion, thinly sliced

1 green pepper, thinly sliced (optional)

1 red pepper, thinly sliced (optional)

1/3 cup salt (I used Kosher)

Ice (about 1 tray)

Wash your cucumbers thoroughly, then slice your vegetables about 1/4 inch thin and layer them in bowl, sprinkling each layer with some of the salt and a bit of ice. When it is all prepped, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and weigh it down slightly. (I put a couple of Pyrex cups on top for weight.) Let it sit 3 hours. When the time is up, drain the icy, salt water off of the vegetables and put the vegetables in one large kettle or two smaller ones.

Before you start the brine, wash and sterilize (usually by immersing in the boiling water for several minutes) 8 pint canning jars. Wash and set in a separate pan or bowl 8 canning lids and 8 rings. Pour boiling water over the lids and rings to sterilize them as well. Leave the rings and lids in the hot water.

Step 2: The Brine

3 cups distilled white vinegar

5 cups sugar

3 cloves garlic (optional)

1-1/2 teaspoon tumeric

1-1/2 teaspoon celery seed

2 Tablespoons mustard seed

Mix this together, heat it to a boil, then add the vegetables. Put the heat on again and bring it to a boil. Once it hits a decent boil, turn off the heat.

Step 3: Canning

Carefully ladle the hot pickles into the hot jars to within 1/2 inch of the rim, making sure the brine covers all the veggies. Poke a knife or spatula in each jar to remove air bubbles. Wipe the jar rims with a clean cloth or paper towel, then attach the sterile lids and rings. Set them on a counter to cool. Most of the jars (5 out of 6 in my case) will seal. Store in the refrigerator for up to three months.

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