Tag Archive | bread and butter pickles

Other People’s Ideas

Pickling syrup before stirring…

Another batch of Bread & Butter pickles made today. Hard to believe that two pounds of cucumbers can distill into five half-pints of pickles, including a whole onion, but it is so. I’m grateful for other people’s ideas, in particular what they think of to do with food. I would not have thought to invent Bread & Butter pickles, and now that I think about it, I don’t even understand why they’re named that: there’s no bread or butter, there is a lot of vinegar and sugar, and a few tablespoons of spices.

  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 6 allspice berries plus a pinch of ground allspice
  • 6 whole cloves plus a pinch of ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
Boil ’em all together, boil the jars, et voila! So simple, so delicious.

I had a few sweet peppers in the fridge, and needed a quick snack for ‘supper,’ so I looked up ‘stuffed sweet pepper recipes.’ I’m grateful as always for the technology that allows me to discover a world of recipes with a few taps. I adapted one I found, cut a Blot pepper into quarters, mashed some cream cheese, shredded Mexican cheese blend, and Italian-seasoning ground garlic, forked enough onto the pepper sections to cover them, and baked for twenty minutes at 450℉. So simple, so delicious! These are things I wouldn’t think of by myself, but with a little nudge from other people’s ideas, I can create my own version with whatever is on hand.

Little Wren was introduced to the big North Forty for the first time this evening, just as the sun was setting. She didn’t quite know what to make of or do with all that space. But she’s sleeping soundly now, after a busy day flirting with does, guarding the garden, making sure I’m okay any time I cough, dispensing random cuddles when she feels they’re needed, and trekking into evening. I’m so grateful for this little creature who came into my life, exactly what we each needed at exactly the right time.


I think this little girl’s world has changed a lot since spring. I wish I knew more about where she came from and what her life was like before. I’ll probably never know more later, but I’m grateful that she is expanding her horizons, and I’m stretching along with her. She’s only been to the canyon a few times, but now I’m under doctor’s orders to walk there daily again. My habit of doing that changed last fall when Stellar could no longer make it that far, and then he was gone and it was winter, and cold and snowy, and I didn’t want to walk down there alone anyway. We live where lions live, which I’m also grateful for; but I don’t want to be walking alone among them. So Wren and I are girding our loins for the short hike down there daily. Even though she is small, she is alert and will let me know if there’s a big cat on the horizon.

I’m grateful for change. It’s wonderful to know that nothing stays the same. Everything uncomfortable will also go away, even as will everything lovely. I’m grateful that I’ve allowed my tastes to change over the years. When my mother made Bread & Butter pickles every year for the St. Alban’s church bazaar, it was fun to help. I was too young to slice, but I liked packing the sliced cucumbers in ice. One time the Colonel cut his finger slicing them and there was some concern about where the sliver of skin ended up… Maybe that’s why I never liked to eat them. Eew. I loved dill pickles but sugar and onions? Forget it. Now, they’re my favorite kind, but that may be only because I’m making them myself with cucumbers I’ve grown. This recipe I’ve used twice this summer is so simple, so delicious. The pickles are crisp, sweet, and spicy. Sometimes I load up a tiny bowl for a snack mid-afternoon, and sometimes I incorporate them into a meal. Today, I made the most delicious sandwich on a toasted croissant with avocado, Havarti, and pickles, with lots of mayonnaise of course. My love affair with mayo? That’s one thing that will never change.