My sister-in-law started her first garden venture this summer, and I was fortunate enough to get to share in some of her garden's bounty last week. She dropped off some beautiful cucumbers, and there was no doubt in my mind that I would be making them into some sweet and crunchy refrigerator bread & butter pickles.
The first time I ever made my own bread & butter pickles was near the end of last summer in my husband & I's teeny tiny one bedroom apartment kitchen. I had bought a nice quart of pickling cucumbers from the local farmers market, and I was armed with the Brown Eyed Baker's recipe for Bread and Butter Pickles. Homemade bread & butter pickles have always been a favorite of mine, and I was especially craving them then. (Yep, I was pregnant with baby girl then. ;) )
Love this nifty little slicer I picked up at Marshall's last year. Makes for very pretty pickle chips. :)
Making your own bread & butter pickles is so incredibly easy. You cut, salt, and rinse the cucumber slices. Thinly slice some onions. Make your pickling liquid- just a combination of vinegars and spices, and then boil it all. You pour that pickling liquid over your cucumber slices and onions in a bowl, and then let the mixture cool before pouring them into jars.
According to the Brown Eyed Baker's recipe, these pickles will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. But other trusted resources I have read say they stay good for 3 months and need at least 2 weeks in the fridge to get full flavor. I am going to go with 2 months tops in the fridge. I kept the pickles I made last year in the fridge for over a month and they were fine.
You could also choose to can these by processing them for the appropriate amount of time in boiling water. But they never last long enough around here to make canning them worth the effort. ;)