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Bread-and-Butter Pickles

To make pickles that can be stored at room temperature, pack the pickles and onions in a dry, sterilized 1-quart canning jar and ladle in the hot pickling liquid to within 1/2 inch of the rim. Top with a sterilized lid and seal tightly with a screw band. Process in a hot-water bath for 10 minutes. Turn the jar upside down and let cool completely. Turn the jar right side up and press the center of the lid. If it remains depressed, store the jar in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year. If not, keep in the refrigerator and eat within 1 month.

Ingredients:

  • 1 English cucumber or 6 pickling cucumbers (about 1 lb.) 
  • 1 white onion, thinly sliced 
  • 2 cups white wine vinegar 
  • 3/4 cup sugar 
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt 
  • 1 tsp. celery seeds 
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds 
  • 2 bay leaves 

Directions:

Have ready a clean 1-quart canning jar or other glass jar with a lid. Slice the cucumber about 1/8 inch thick; you should have about 4 cups. In a stainless steel or other nonreactive heatproof bowl, combine the cucumber and onion.

In a small nonreactive saucepan over high heat, combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, celery seeds, mustard seeds and bay leaves and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Immediately pour the vinegar mixture over the cucumber and onion slices. Let cool to room temperature, then pack the vegetables and liquid into the jar, discarding any excess liquid. Cover tightly and refrigerate. The pickles will keep, refrigerated, for up to 1 month. Makes 1 quart pickles.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Family Meals, by Maria Helm Sinskey (Oxmoor House, 2008).