bread and butter

My mom used to make all kinds of pickles when I was growing up: dill pickles, lime pickles and bread and butter pickles.  I remember she made the bread and butter batch last because she could use the odd shaped left over cucumbers that weren’t quite right for dill spears or lime  chips.  I never gave the name of the pickle much thought.  The last few years I started making pickles. I have not yet tried the fussy lime pickles but I have made dill and bread and butter a few times.   The other evening my husband was scrolling the internet to remind us how long we needed to process the pickles in the canner. As he was reading he asked if I knew how the bread and butter pickles got their name. I did not.  When he read me the story I thought it would be fun to share on the blog.

Bread-and-butter pickles are a marinated variety of pickled cucumber in a solution of vinegar, sugar, and spices. … The story of how this pickle was named is that in the early 1920s cucumber farmers Omar and Cora Fanning survived rough years by making the pickles with their surplus of undersized cucumbers and bartering them with their grocer for staples such as bread and butter.

I love that tidbit.  I know many people faced hard times in the 1920s and I enjoy stories like this that show creativity in simpler times.  People worked hard and found a way to use what they had rather than waste it. 

A gentleman from church grew a bigger garden than he and his wife could use this year.  He enjoys sharing his produce with his church family.  I was happy when he brought me some cucumbers and tomatoes from his garden.  We enjoyed the tomatoes on sandwiches and I made dill pickles from the cucumbers.  When he dropped off a second batch of cucumbers I decided to make a some bread and butter pickles.  I gave him a jar of home made blackberry jam as a thank you.  Swap and share and use what you have. It’s a great concept.

Photo: Marge McCoy

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