This year, I grew cucumbers in my garden. LOTS of cucumbers. It turns out that I may not be able to grow a carrot or a bean, but I can grow cucumbers by the bucket-load.
And as I looked at my Leaning Tower o’ Cucumbers, sitting on the kitchen island, taunting me, “Don’t waste me! Do SOMETHING with me!” I realized…. I could make bread and butter pickles!
This might sound strange, but one of my favourite sandwiches is the cheese and pickle sandwich. Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it. You’ll probably end up eating two.
In my overzealous seed-germination project this past Spring, I grew both regular and pickling cucumbers. Pickling cucumbers are prickly and small and shouldn’t grow too big (as their seeds get too large for the proper pickle). But for this project, I was just makin’ do with what I had. Any cucumber was welcome – green, pickling, big, small.
We’re an inclusive kitchen ’round here.
Having not ever made pickles before, I headed to the internet. And I found this recipe on Recipe Girl. Let me tell you, folks, this is a good one. Head over and pin it (or bookmark it, or print it), so that you don’t forget about it. It’s an easy, solid recipe that has gotten rave reviews from the pickle-fans in my life.
In her directions, Lori uses a serrated cutting thingy that makes the cucumber slices all wavy-like. I suddenly had a realization, “Don’t I have one of these lurking in my kitchen junk drawer?”
Yes, I did. And it worked incredibly well! Woot woot for being a gadget-hoarder and never throwing anything away!
It was at this point when I started getting REALLY excited! They were starting to look like pickles. Beautiful, wavy little pickles!
Lori covers them in kosher salt and lets them sit before they’re put in the pickling brine. I opted to use pickling salt. I think that my pickles were extremely delicious, so I don’t think that the substitution made a difference.
The pickles are then rinsed off very well, then are put in the hot pickling liquid and left to cool on the counter. Once they’re cool, the pickles are put into clean jars and refrigerated for up to two weeks.
But they won’t last that long. You’ll be sneaking little nibbles of pickles throughout the day. They’re really THAT delicious. And while hamburger season is still happening, put a few of these on your burger. Trust me, you won’t regret it.
Lori’s recipe yielded me three pints of pickles. But they’re all gone now. One snacky mama and two barbeques later, and I’d better start picking more of those overly-prolific cucumbers.
Do you have an abundance of cucumbers? Are you getting tired of tzatziki or cucumber and hummus? Try these refrigerator pickles!
(And if your thumb is crooked and black, then you can pick up a bag of pickling cucumbers at most farmers’ markets and produce stores!)
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Inspire Me Heather
Your pickles look great! I was wondering how they got the zig zag look to them (I’ve never seen that tool before!) – thanks for the tips and for the link to the recipe!
It was really just a happy coincidence that I had this little cutter tool in my drawer. I think that it’s for french fries, actually! But man, it sure did make my pickles look legit!
Lisa @ Wine & Glue
YUMM!! I love pickles!! Like if I could have a chocolate cake or some pickles, it might be the pickles. Pinning!
I hear you, Lisa! I feel the same way. I’m also a big relish fan – I’m on the hunt for a good relish recipe now.
I’ve never made bread and butter pickles before, Tara! Yours look absolutely delicious! Now if you want to try a disturbingly delicious sandwich, try peanut butter and dill pickles. 🙂
Okay… I might have to brace myself before I take a bite of a peanut butter and dill sandwich. But I will try it!
Yummo, I will keep this for the coming summer, I don’t mind a pickle or two but one of my boys eats them in bulk. Seriously the big massive costco jar in about a week.
Really!?!? Now THAT’s a pickle fan. I couldn’t do the Costco jar in a week. Just thinking about it makes me feel a bit queasy! 😉
Brenna @ Life After Laundry
My husband made me bread and butter pickles last year and didn’t use the serrated cutting thing. It just wasn’t the same.
Brenna – you’re so right. It needs to be serrated. Your tongue can totally tell the difference, even just by texture.
(Stocking stuffer idea, perhaps?)
Amy of while wearing heels
I had no idea there even was a difference in cucumbers (besides of English and seeded). You have been BUSY this summer growing, harvesting and now canning, jarring and pickling. I hope you enjoy a few cheese and pickle sandwiches with these delicious homemade pickles.
To be honest, I didn’t know much about the differences in cucumbers until I started growing them. Now it’s pretty easy to tell – the pickling cukes are prickly and are hard to hold. I’m amazed that anyone ever tried to eat one, to be honest!
I gorged myself on cheese and pickle sandwiches, and now they’re all gone.
I just need to carve out some more pickling time – these were seriously addictive.
So good to see you enjoying the bounty of your garden that you were so nervous about in the beginning! I’m a kitchen gadget hoarder too! I love having the right tool for the right job!
Tara, these look so yummy! I have a ton of cucumbers and need to try it out!
You’re a cucumber-grower as well? They’re just so… prolific, aren’t they? I can’t believe how many cucumbers I have – it’s something else!
I love it. My mom used to make pickles by the bucket loads every summer when I was young. These were my favourite. I am loving your pickling abilities! I not only have a black thumb, but a wicked accidental streak when I try to make things. Wish I could import you into my kitchen!!
You’d probably learn a few swear words if I was imported into your kitchen. Things always appear a bit smoother in Bloglandia than they are in real life. I get so nervous when I can/preserve, but this year has been much better in terms of kitchen successes.
I think that you’d be fun to can with. We could pickle ourselves a bit with some wine at the same time! 😉
That would be the greatest ever. Wine, swearing, and pickles! I’m in!!
Oh good. I’m glad you like to do at least ONE version of “pickling”! 🙂 Why don’t you live in my neighbourhood, lady!?!?
My thought exactly!
I hope you are enjoying your week! I’d love for you to link up all your amazing canning goodness at the Party Thyme party! Oh, and the spice giveaway is amazing this time! 🙂
I’m back, and I’m going to link up ASAP! Thanks for reminding me, Marilyn! (Also, I REALLY want to win that giveaway!)