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Food: Recipes, cookbook reviews, food notes, and restaurant reviews. Unless otherwise noted, I have personally tried each recipe that gets its own page, but not necessarily recipes listed as part of a cookbook review.

Bread and butter pickles for National Sandwich Day

Jerry Stratton, October 26, 2022

These bread and butter pickles are very easy to make in the fridge. They require no canning. They’re ready in three days. And they’re amazing.

Servings: 8
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Mrs. June Lykens and Thelma Featherstone
Review: Bicentennial Cook Book (Jerry@Goodreads)

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1½ cup vinegar
  • 1½ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp. celery seed
  • ½ tsp. dry mustard
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1½ lbs sliced cucumbers

Steps

  1. Put salt, vinegar, sugar, celery seed, mustard, and turmeric in a half-gallon or two-quart jar.
  2. Shake to mix.
  3. Add onions and cucumbers.
  4. Swirl gently to mix.
  5. Store in the refrigerator.
  6. Swirl (without opening) once each day for three to seven days.
Fruitport Pickles

If there’s one ingredient that makes almost any sandwich taste better, it is pickles. Ham sandwiches, chicken sandwiches, fish sandwiches, and chicken or tuna salad sandwiches, they all benefit from several slices of good pickles. The more the tastier!

One of my favorite bars is the Billy Goat Tavern in Chicago, and that’s partly because you get to assemble your own burger. Which means I get as many pickles on the burger as I can fit.

I usually prefer dill pickles, but every once in a while I get a craving for bread & butter pickles. They’re especially good with fish sandwiches, especially the salmon burgers from Trader Joe’s. No chicken melt or tuna melt is complete without pickles, and bread & butter pickles are a special treat on any chicken or tuna salad sandwich, melt or not.

National Sandwich Day is on Thursday of next week. Normally, I’d be posting my Sandwich Day recipe on the Wednesday before, but this recipe takes three days to make. I know you’re probably focused on Hallowe’en right now, but take some time out to pick up whatever ingredients you need for pickles and start them tomorrow, or over the weekend. If you like bread and butter pickles, you won’t be disappointed.

Even if you don’t like bread and butter pickles, you might try this one. These homemade bread and butter pickles outshine anything I’ve had from a store. They are very easy to make. They do not require any canning, just a half-gallon jar. All you need to do is mix everything together and put them in the refrigerator for a few days. The original recipe made them a gallon at a time. If you have a larger family, or if the only suitable jar you have is a gallon jar, double the recipe for the original full gallon.

Billy Goat Tavern burger

Hamburger the way I make them: pickles top and bottom.

These pickles keep getting better past the three-day mark, which is probably why some recipes call for waiting up to seven days. They are, however, ready to eat and already amazing after sitting three days.

They last for a long time in the refrigerator. I don’t know how long, because I’ve never had any left over after a few weeks. And when they’re gone, mix up a new batch and you’re three days from a fresh jar! If you’ve never done any pickling before, and aren’t yet comfortable with canning, this is a great starter recipe to show what wonders are possible when you’re comfortable making preserved foods.

This recipe is a combination of two recipes from a Fruitport, Michigan community cookbook. It’s from 1976 and is explicitly a bicentennial cookbook. America’s sestercentennial is less than four years away—and these pickles would be a great addition to any sestercentennial picnic or barbecue!

I hope to have more ideas, mainly food, for celebrating our sestercentennial over the next year. I remember the bicentennial celebrations from 1976. I hope that fifty years from now today’s children will remember and be proud of their participation in our 250th anniversary in 2026—and be prepared to pass on the torch for our 300th and their own children's participation in America’s tercentennial!

In response to National Sandwich Day: National Sandwich Day is a great day to come together for a great sandwich. A great sandwich means great bread, great fillings, and great spreads.

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