Growing-up our family lived in Kansas for the first part of my childhood, and one of my early memories was of the delicious homemade Bread and Butter Pickles my Grandmother would always have on hand.
This recipe is inspired by those pickles, but I’m sure it’s much less involved as it does not require a pressure canner of hot water bath. Crunchy sweet pickled Cucumbers and onions, great as a side, or on a sandwich.
1 Cup Boiling Water
Tablespoon (or so) of Pickling Spice
1/2 Cup Rice Vinegar (or sub; white wine vinegar, or apple cider vinegar)
6 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Tablespoon Salt
1 Cup Onions, sliced into rings
2 – 3 Medium Cucumbers
We used the same basic ratios from David Chang, that are in our Pickled Hakurei Turnip and Pickled Beet recipes but for these pickles I boiled the water and steeped a tablespoon of pickling spices (a mix of spices you can get them in bulk at Green Planet, Real Food Coop, or Greenstar in Ithaca*). I was sure it was going to take at least 3 of the Cucumbers from our CSA share but I ended up using just 2. For this recipe it’s best to slice your Cucumbers instead of trying for spears, but don’t slice them too thin, you’ll want some crunch after they’ve pickled. For Onions I sliced about a cup of the small fresh onions we’ve been getting in our CSA box into rings. It took about 3 or 4 of the onions to do this.
After the pickling spices had steeped for about 10 minutes in the boiling water I added a half a cup of vinegar to the mix, stirred in the Sugar and Salt and let it cool to lukewarm. Next I very firmly packed alternating layers of the Onions and Cucumbers into a wide mouth quart jar**. Once the jar was full I poured the liquid mix through a strainer to remove the pickling spices and then filled and capped my jar of pickles and put them in the refrigerator.
After about 24 hours the Cucumbers will begin to change color a bit – that’s when they’re ready to eat! In theory they should last about a month in the fridge – but we’ve never had that happen at our house, they seem to disappear in a few days.
*Pickling Spice, as well as Rice Vinegar are available at these stores – I called and checked!
**We purchased a set of plastic lids for our quart jars and they are great for something like this, easy to clean, seals up nicely, and no worries about the acidic mix corroding the lid.