Gertie’s Bread & Butter Pickles
PREP TIME: 2 hours
Yield: 4 - 5 pints

Nobody made better Bread & Butter Pickles than Gertrude Connell of Tulsa, Oklahoma, originally from Donaldsonville, Louisiana. Her husband Joe would grow the cucumbers and pick them young, about 3 to 4 inches long, and they would jar this delicacy for weeks at a time. Christmas just wasn’t Christmas unless a jar of those pickles arrived in your stocking.


  • 4 pounds cucumbers, 3 to 4 inches long
  • 1/2 teaspoons celery seed
  • 2 large Bermuda Onions, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoons mustard seed
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 cups cider vinegar

Using the slicing blade of a food processor, or a short paring knife, slice cucumbers as thin as possible. In a large ceramic bowl layer cucumbers, onions and salt, cover with water and refrigerate overnight. Drain the cucumbers well and refrigerate in a colander until ready to use. Place sugar, spices, vinegar and pepper flakes in a two-gallon sauce pan. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally until the sugar is completely dissolved. When mixture has reached a rolling boil, add the cucumber/onion mixture stirring to heat the contents evenly. As the mixture returns to a low boil, reduce heat to keep hot, but do not boil as cucumbers will become limp and overcooked. Using a slotted spoon fill hot sterilized jars to one inch from the top. Once all the jars are filled, cover with the boiling syrup almost to overflowing. Divide any remaining spices that have fallen to the bottom of the sauce pot evenly amongst the jars. Seal jars tightly and label. It is best to store pickles 60 to 90 days prior to using.

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