I went to the Farmer's Market on Saturday and cucumbers were everywhere. It is pickle season!!!! I bought two pails and made some dill pickles and bread and butter pickles. I remember my mom making bread and butter pickles when I was a kid. The distinct smell of warm vinegar and spices filled the air. I didn't much care for the smell when I was a kid but my sense of smell seems to have matured and now I love it. Here is the recipe I used from The Complete Book of Year Round Small-Batch Preserving by Ellie Topp and Margaret Howard. It is a nice book with all sorts of recipes for jams, chutneys, relishes and pickles that use, as the title suggests, small amounts of fruits and vegetables.
Best Bread and Butter Pickles
4lb small pickling cucmbers
4 small onions, thinly sliced
1 sweet green pepper, cut in thin strips
1 sweet red pepper, cut in thin strips
2 Tbsp pickling salt
4 cups cider vinegar
3 cups granulated sugar
2 Tbsp mustard seeds
1 tsp celery seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp ground cloves
Cut a thin slice from the ends of each cucumber and cut into medioum thick slices, about 3/16 inch. Place cucumbers, onions and peppers in a non-reactive container, sprinkle with salt and let stand for 3 hours; drain. Rinse twice and drain thoroughly.
Combine vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, celery seeds, turmeric and cloves in a large stainless steel or enamel saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add vegetables and return to a boil for 30 seconds or just until cucumbers are no longer bright green.
Remove hot jars from canner. Remove vegetables from liquid with a slotted spoon; pack into jars. Pour liquid over vegetables to within 1/2 inch of rim. Process 10 minutes for pint jars and 15 minutes for quart jars.