I'm daughter to Lissie, sister to Jess, wife to Brien, mom to Hannah, Lily and Eleanor. I am a stay at home mom to my girls, and my free time is dedicated to gardening (I confess I'm still a novice and look to Lissie and Jess for advice), baking and cooking, and card making. I'm doing my part to make the earth a bit greener, trying hard to avoid processed foods and HFCS, and find the "slow food" movement intriguing and inspiring. I love visits to my local farmers' market, fresh produce, reading, getting out in nature, and spending time with my family.


Catholic, homeschooler, lover of books and great wine and an amateur gardening addict.


I'm Melissa aka "Lissie", mother of Rachael and Jessica, and grandmother to a passel of the sweetest children on the planet. I'm a semi-retired public educator and professor who works from home for a small publisher. I am a lover of all things beautiful ... flowers, the mountains, nature scenes, the innocent faces of children, and my rock and fossil collection, to name a few. I enjoy shopping at the farmers' market for fresh foods and then experimenting with new recipes. Good food and good wine delight me. I love to travel so my suitcase is always packed. Like my daughters, I take pleasure in simple things ... clothes drying on the line, tomatoes so fresh they are still hot from the sun, good books, and interesting movies. I'd like to know everything before I die.
Bread & Butter Pickles

See this jar of pickles? There are 41 more just like it sitting on my kitchen counter. It took two days of effort, but in the end it will be worth it. Besides, I love to can. When my girls were little, I canned every summer--lots of different things. Since they have been gone from my home, I haven't done much canning because it's hard to eat a lot of canned food all by yourself. As a result, it's been years since I have made bread & butter pickles. I decided to make them this summer mostly because I use them in various dishes I make, and the ones from the store just don't taste as good. Plus, they have a lot of additives I do not want to consume, so the decision to make my own pickles was fairly easy to make. I'm growing my own cucumbers, but I only put in six plants meaning my harvest won't be a big one. To date I've harvested three, not enough for even one jar of pickles. Saturday, when I was at the Farmer's Market, I found a good deal; a lady sold me an entire box (about 35 pounds) of cucumbers for $15. I felt a little guilty because it seemed the farmer wasn't getting much return for her hard work. Fresh cucumbers have a short shelf life so Sunday and Monday quickly became pickling days.

I've used the same recipe since 1978. It is one generously shared with me by my cousin, Lynn. I've never looked for another one because these pickles are so good. You can find the recipe at the bottom of this post. I suggest, though, that before you attempt to make pickles, you read about home canning. There are little steps you have to take to ensure that you won't end up with botulism or some other dread disease.

So, what am I going to do with 42 jars of pickles? Family members have all said they'll take a few jars, and I'll give some to friends. And I'll use some myself. Best of all, it will be great to once again have a shelf full of pickles that are ready for use at any time. There nothing quite like a shelf full of beautiful home-canned foods as a reminder that your labor to produce them was well worth the effort.

Cousin Lynn's Bread & Butter Pickles Recipe:

30 cucumbers 1” in diameter

10 medium onions

½ cup salt to 2 cups water--Morton's makes a nice pickling salt that comes in a 4-lb. box.

ice cubes

Slice cucumbers and onions very thin. (That’s in the original recipe. I now slice mine fairly thick.) Place in large container and pour salt water over them and enough ice cubes to make the water cold. Mix. Let stand for three hours. Drain and rinse in cold water baths twice. Drain again to remove all excess water.

Bring to boil in a large pot:

· 5 cups white vinegar

· 2 tsp. Celery seed

· 1 tsp. Ground ginger

· 1 tsp. Curry powder

· 4 cups sugar

· 1 tsp. Turmeric

· 2 tsp. White or regular mustard seeds

Add cukes and onions and bring to boiling point. Simmer ten minutes. (This, also is in the original recipe, but I don’t cook the cukes; I leave them raw.) Put into hot sterilized pint or quart jars, and add the pickling brine. Add canning lids--flats and rings--and only tighten the lids with your fingertips. Process ten minutes in a canning pot with a canning rack after water begins to boil.




Rach said...

OMG!! I can hardly WAIT to get my hands on these!!!!!!!!! YIPPEEE!!!!!!!!


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