Friday, August 12, 2016

Nana's Bread and Butter Pickles

"Cool as a cucumber"
Extremely calm, relaxed and in control of your emotions.

Where did this phrase come from? 
 It may have originated from the fact that even in hot weather, the inside of cucumbers are approximately 20 degrees cooler than the outside air.

Cucumbers are low in calories, but one of my favorite ways to eat a cuke is to turn it into a pickle!!

As a child, I spent a lot of time in Maine with my grandparents.  My grandmother often canned vegetables from my grandfather's huge garden.  She was always in the kitchen, cooking, baking, slicing and dicing!!  My grandfather built a root cellar and that is where they kept all their canned goods.  No one could make pickles like my Nana - The smell of vinegar would clear out everyone's sinuses!!  I have used her recipe for years - changing it up a little bit, adding some hot peppers or garlic, or different seasonings, sometimes making them sweeter, sometimes a bit sour - BUT no matter what I do, they are never as good as Nana's were.  
Why is it that when someone else prepares food, it always tastes better?

I also add labels that I make on the computer, using sticker paper - I like to amuse myself!!

Here is Nana Mary's Pickle recipe:
4 qts thinly sliced cucumbers
1 qt sliced onions
1/2 c salt
Place cukes and onions in a shallow pan and cover with salt.  Cover with a few trays of ice cubes and let sit for a few hours.
In a large sauce pan:
5 c vinegar
1t celery seed
4 1/2 c sugar
4 t mustard seed
1 1/2 t turmeric
1/2 t ground cloves
Bring to a boil.  Drain cucumbers and add to saucepan, barely heating through.  Pour into sterilized jars and seal.  They will process themselves!  Makes 10 pints.

Here is the recipe I would have my high school students prepare in Foods and Nutrition class:
Mrs P's Pickles:
2 cucumbers
1 onion
1 1/4 c sugar
1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 t salt
2 1/4 t mustard seed
1/2 t pickling spice
1/2 celery seed
1/2 t turmeric
Wash cucumbers and slice thinly, slice onion.  In saucepan mix sugar, vinegar, water and celery seed. Tie pickling spice into a cheesecloth bag.  Bring mixture to a boil and add cheesecloth bag.  Add cucumbers, onion and turmeric.  Boil for 2 minutes.  Fill jars 3/4" from top and sprinkle mustard seed into each jar.  Cover and jars will seal on their own. Makes 2 jars. 


Patti @ Pandoras Box
Patti @ Pandoras Box

I live in central NY and I am a retired family and consumer science teacher. I enjoy all types of crafting, decorating and cooking


  1. Patti,
    Both of these recipes sound wonderful! My sister who is a canning pro is coming to Texas in a couple of weeks. I'm going to pin these so we'll have a little project to work on. ;-)

  2. Love bread & butter pickles !!!!!!! Thanks for sharing :)

  3. Aha!!! A fellow home ec teacher...or should I say Family&Consumer Science teacher!!!
    isn't that crazy that they changed the name? FCS teacher..ha! I have left the job but for many a yr. I taught those crazy kids how to do everything in their future lives.
    sometimes I think our job was more important than the math teacher's job!!!
    They even fazed out our curriculum from the school where I taught they yr after I sad, I think.
    what breed of cucumbers do you use for your pickles? I just put up 12 pints and they taste bitter. I think my husband just picked up cucumber seedlings and never looked at what kind they were..........

  4. I love fresh cucumbers and I've always been a pickle lover, all varieties. These look yummy..........cute stickers.