When it comes to pickled cucumbers, my favorite is definitely bread and butter pickles. The store bought ones simply can not compare to homemade ones. The main thing lacking in the store bought pickles is onion slices. They may be infused with an onion flavor, but most brands don't have the actual slices of onions in the jar.
After the onions have been sitting in the brine for a few weeks and have had some time to give up some of their onion taste to the cucumbers and soak some flavors from the other spices in the jar, they actually taste quite good. It is like getting pickled cucumbers and pickled onions both in one jar.
The recipe that I like is really a cross between a recipe from the Ball Blue Book and a recipe from a 1948 edition of the Kerr Home Canning Book. Back when Ball and Kerr were actually separate companies, the Kerr Home Canning Book was once as much of a trusty standard as the Ball Blue Book.
Bread and Butter Pickles
4 lbs cucumbers, sliced
2 lbs onions, sliced
1/3 cup canning salt
3 cups vinegar
2 cups sugar
2 Tbs mustard seed
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cloves
Mix cucumbers and onions with canning salt. cover with ice cubes and let stand 1 1/2 hours. Drain and rinse. Bring remaining ingredients to boil in a large sauce pan. Add cucumbers and onions and return to a boil. Fill hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace and process in a water bath for 10 minutes.
High altitude instructions
1,001 - 3,000 feet : increase processing time by 5 minutes
3,001 - 6,000 feet : increase processing time by 10 minutes
6,001 - 8,000 feet : increase processing time by 15 minutes
8,001 - 10,000 feet : increase processing time by 20 minutes
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