Recipe for Canning Sweet Pickles

Bread and Butter 
for a reason

I come from a long line of canning fanatics and that is a good thing. As I spoke with my sister last week, she told of her summer days hovering over jars filled with all kind of garden produce that will be enjoyed throughout the year. Quarts and pints of every vegetable imaginable. And as I thought of her, it reminded me I had not posted this recipe for a most delightful sweet pickle which I put up almost a month ago.

The recipe is from our dear Aunt Tac, a distant cousin actually to my Grandmother Elsie Lee who both resided in Greenville AL. She called them Sweet Pickles but around our house we did and still do refer to 'em as Bread and Butter, cause that is what they taste like. To my knowledge, sweet pickles uses spices like cloves, cinnamon and allspice whereas bread n butter ones do not. Hers is a tried and true recipe that produces a sweet, crisp pickle with a twangy hint of spiced vinegar that makes this type of pickle so darn well liked by many. As the saying goes, 'you can't eat just one.'


Aunt Tac's Sweet Pickles
makes about 8 pints

  • 4 quarts or about 7 pounds pickling cucumbers
  • 2 large white onions
  • 1/3 cup pickling salt
  • 2 quarts crushed ice
  • 5 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large garlic cloves, halved
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons celery sead
  • 2 tablespoons mustard seed
  • 3 cups distilled vinegar (5% acid)
  • 1 cup cider vinegar

Wash and clean the cucumbers and cut into slightly larger than quarter-inch slices. Do not cut too thin as you want them to have a good, crisp bite after setting in the brine. Peel onions and slice vertical into half-inch sections. Place in a large bowl and toss with the salt. Top with the ice, cover with a kitchen towel and let set for 3 hours.

Meantime, begin heating water in your canner and sterilize jars, lids, etc. After the 3 hours, the ice should be melted. Toss the cukes and onions in the water to free up some of the salt and drain really well in a colander.

Combine sugar with remaining ingredients in a large kettle or pot and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the cucumber mixture to the pot and bring brine almost to a simmer. Do not let boil. Pack the hot jars with the cuke mixture and distribute the spices evenly. Make sure a piece of garlic is in each jar. Top with additional distilled vinegar if needed leaving quarter-inch head space. Be sure to wipe the top of the jar clean before placing on the lid. Process in water bath for 12 minutes.

Note: Aunt Ida made a Spiced Sweet Pickle similar to this recipe by adding 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves.


  1. They are delicious! in my country we put them whole

  2. Love this pickle recipe and am enjoying the newspaper Drick!

  3. I wish I wasn't such a big chicken about preserving. This takes me back to my great-grandma's pantry under the stairs. Full of things she canned and pickled. Thanks for linking this week.

  4. Bread and butters are just about my favorite pickle. That lovely sweet-vinegar-spice mixture just can't be beat. However, I only make them every few years because all the rest of my family prefers dills. I think I'm down to one jar of B&B's in the pantry. Time to make more!

  5. bread and butter.. I love that! I net they are perfect for summer eats! thanks for sharing. Hope you are well and are having a great Summer. I think I have caught up on all your glorious recipes. Sorry for the abscence, life is super busy with the kiddos off for the summer..LOL!! Take care.

  6. You've inspired me to put up a few jars of pickles, my favorites are bread and butters! I was thinking about pickling some green beans too, I checked your recipe, thanks!

  7. I love making jams, and always make loads of them over the summer, but for some reason I never seem to do too much pickling. These look delicious though, so I've bookmarked for when summer returns to my part of the world.

  8. I like this post,first of all i love burgers,and thts reason,i like this burger thank you for sharing this link,

    Serve Over Counter

  9. I have never jarred or canned anything although my grandmother did everything. Guess I should get back to my roots and give it a try. Thanks for the motivation! WOO HOO, college football one month away. Are you gonna do your tailgate thing again, I HOPE!!!!

  10. @ Shari TheSaucyGourmet - I do hope you do put up a jar or two, you do not have to make a whole batch, just a pint or quart....
    I cannot wait for Sept 1 myself, our 1st game in Dallas, but I have not thought of doing a series again, takes so much time plus I am still trying to fulfill last year's commitment (third try at cookbook, now revamping the cover)

  11. This is my new recipe! Thank you! I canned them last year and this week I will be canning more. I love them!


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