There are few foods as evocative of my childhood as bread and butter pickles. When I was young every holiday meal had to include “the relish tray”. And said relish tray had to offer at the very least black olives, carrot and celery sticks, and pickles. Sometimes the pickles were homemade dill pickles, but more often they were bread and butter pickles, because they were my dad’s favorite. It was always my job to assemble the “tray” which I gladly did with nary a “mom, do I have to?”  It was simply the best chore ever! I got to cut the carrot and celery sticks, open the can of olives and drain the pickles.  And, I was allowed to arrange the tray any way I wanted! Of course arranging the tray was really the fun part, well that and eating most of the olives and a considerable portion of the pickles before they ever hit the tray! So when I found this simple recipe years later and it didn’t even involve the “C” word (canning), I was very excited.  (And yes, I would gladly give credit to the awesome author of this recipe if I had any recollection. But I’m certain that when I saw bread and butter pickles, easy, and 24 hours all in the same sentence, the recipe could have been handed down from Moses for all I would have noticed.) So if you too love a good bread and butter pickle, give this recipe a try. I have actually observed grown men hover over a bowl of these pickles mumbling mine, mine, mine! I could easier accept such behavior from a flock of seagulls, for example, than grown men. But truth be told, I do understand. These lovely pickles are just that good.

  • 2 English cucumbers, partially peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 ½ T. kosher salt
  • 1 c. thinly sliced yellow onion
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • ¼ c. packed brown sugar
  • 1 c. white vinegar
  • ½ c. cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ tsp. mustard seed
  • ½ tsp. celery seed
  • 1/8 tsp. turmeric

Combine cucumber slices and salt in a large non-reactive bowl (glass works best); cover and chill for 90 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Drain again and return cucumbers to bowl. Add onion. Combine sugars, vinegars, mustard seed, celery seed, and turmeric in a medium sized saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until sugars dissolve. Pour hot mixture over cucumbers and onion; let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours. At this point the pickles can be transferred to an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. (Good luck on that! They have yet to last that long in our refrigerator.)