Bread & Butter Pickles πŸ₯’πŸŽ¬

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This lesson is 406 words, a 1 min 37 sec reading time. It is the sixth lesson of Lunch 2.0.

πŸ“ Introduction: 

Salty, sweet, tangy, & crunchy, bread & butter pickles bring tremendous flavor and texture to myriad weekday staples. They are delicious alongside rich meats, heaped onto sandwiches, or even nibbled alone as a pre-dinner snack. Taking ~10 minutes of active work and lasting for weeks, this condiment is exceptionally high leverage. 

While jarred, shelf-stable b&b pickles are highly convenient, they can often be syrupy sweet and a bit mushy. When made at home, these pickles are crispy, refreshing, and seasoned precisely as you like. Pickling spice is highly flexible, and you can have quite a bit of fun experimenting with your brine and spice blend. 

Go ahead and get creative. They're your pickles. Make them how you like them. 🎨

πŸ§‚ Ingredients: 

  • 1 lb pickling cucumbers (e.g., kirbys) 

  • 2 tbsp kosher salt 

  • ΒΌ cup light brown sugar 

  • β…“ cup vinegar (e.g., cider, white) 

  • 3 tbsp pickling spice (e.g., $$

  • ~1/3 cup hot water (optional) 

  • 3 sprigs dill (optional)

  • 2 garlic cloves (optional) 

βœ… Instructions: 

  1. Wash & trim cucumbers. Then slice thin (a mandolin helps). 

  2. Toss with salt in a colander over a plate. Refrigerate for ~2 hours.   

  3. Heat the pickling spices, sugar, & vinegar together in a small saucepan. Alternatively, dissolve sugar in hot water. 

  4. Combine with remaining ingredients & cucumbers in a large glass jar.  

  5. Refrigerate for up to 1 month. 

πŸ“ Notes Tips & Tricks: 

  • The fresher the cucumbers are, the crisper the pickles will be.  

  • Pickling spice is easy to make from what you have. A few ideas include mustard seed, allspice berries, peppercorns, coriander seeds, celery seeds, whole cloves, ground ginger, cinnamon, red pepper flakes, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, chilies, cumin, turmeric. 

  • If available, ready-made pickling spice is a time saver.  

  • For extra flavor, toast the spices in a pan before adding them to the brine. 

  • Pickling salt is not necessary. Kosher salt is equally pure (e.g., iodine free) 

  • Pickling is more art than science, and recipes vary tremendously. Some common variations include: rinsing off the salt, adding onions/peppers, grinding the spices, etc. Don't sweat the minutiae. It is hard to mess these up! 

  • For shelf-stable pickles, sterilize the jars and follow instructions for canning.  

  • A famous depression-era sandwich consisted of bread & butter with pickles (hence the name "Bread & Butter" pickles πŸ˜‰). 

πŸŽ“ Further Study

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πŸ—£ Discussion topic: What’s your favorite type of pickle? Comment belowπŸ‘‡