Posted on July 28, 2011 - by

Summer’s Best Bread and Butter Pickles

There is no doubt in my mind that homemade pickles are head and shoulders better than store bought. And I have a great recipe for you. But before deciding to embark on this project, please promise that you’ll study the section in a pickle-making book about sterilizing jars and lids, and proper use of the boiling water bath. I may be a murder mystery writer, but I don’t want to kill anyone off in real life!

The recipe I use is from an old cookbook called PUTTING FOOD BY by Hertzberg, Vaughn, and Greene. You’ll need to plan ahead for this–it’s not a last-minute kind of project. But I’ve been making these for years and never had a bad pickle. Out in the garden, I found four enormous cukes that were begging to be used. So here’s my list of ingredients, which made 3 pint jars and one quart-sized for refrigerator snacking.

4-5 large cukes, cut into 1/4 inch slices

2 large onions, sliced

peppers, seeded and sliced (we had 3 banana peppers on our bushes so that’s what I used)

1/3 cup salt

2 large garlic cloves, whole

ice cubes or crushed ice

4.5 cups sugar

1.5 tsp turmeric

1.5 tsp celery seed

2 TBSP mustard seed

3 cups of white vinegar

Wash the vegetables well, slice and add them to a large bowl with garlic. Sprinkle the salt over and mix thoroughly. add ice to cover and mix that in too. Then leave the bowl for 3 hours. Drain off the liquid and remove the garlic. Meanwhile, in a large stainless pot, combine sugar, vinegar and spices and heat to a simmer. Stir in the veggies and simmer for ten minutes. Pack into hot, sterile jars, remove air bubbles, add lids and place in the boiling water bath. Process ten minutes.


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    July 30, 2011


    Sandie Herron said:

    Lucy, your name is so new to me. Do you have your own cookbook out?

    And what do you do with those zucchini that somehow get overlooked and grow a foot long and weigh 25 lbs? We startled my mother with one just like that, and she could barely cut into it because it was so hard.


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      July 30, 2011


      Lucy said:

      Hi Sandie! No cookbook (yet). But I bet you know my alter-ego Roberta Isleib–she writes mysteries too:). A zucchini “bat” can be grated and made into zucchini bread. But as for a specimen so big and hard, you can’t cut it… I’d say the right place for it is the compost pile.


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