(about 1 1/2 pints)
Last week as I was patiently sorting through the pickling cucumbers at the market, I noticed a woman watching me and grinning like the Cheshire Cat. She made her way over to my side, began to indiscriminately toss baby cukes into her bag by the heaping handful and asked me what I planned on making with mine. When I told her I was thinking about bread and butter pickles, she broke out into a hearty laugh. At that moment I realized just how ridiculously obsessive it was of me to try to get that bag full of perfectly matching cucumbers. :)
She went on to suggest I bathe my cukes in a brine for a few hours; that my pickles would be crunchier if I did. I followed her advice and you know what? These pickles were pretty darn crunchy.
Gotta love great tips from perfect strangers!
3 tbsp non iodized salt
1 cup hot water
2 cups cold water
1 lb baby cucumbers, washed and sliced into 1/4 inch disks
1/4 yellow onion, sliced
4-6 sprigs fresh washed dill
2-4 slices garlic (optional)
2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup water
1/3 cup evaporated cane juice or granulated sugar
1 tbsp mustard seed
1/2 tsp celery seed
Combine the salt and hot water in a bowl and stir until the salt has dissolved. Stir in the cold water, then add the cucumber and onion slices. Set on a kitchen counter for 3-4 hours.
Drain and rinse under cold water.
Place the cucumber and onion slices into sterilized jars tucking in a dill sprig here and there as well as the garlic, if using. Set aside.
Combine the vinegar, water, evaporated cane juice or sugar, mustard seed and celery seed in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil.
Remove from heat and divide between the cucumber filled jars. Top up with cold water if the vinegar mixture doesn't completely reach to the top.
Cool, then cover the jars and refrigerate. Give them a gentle shake every day or so.
The pickles will be ready to eat after 3-4 days and will keep refrigerated for about a month.