I am on the campaign trail a good bit of the time now. But I still love to preserve just a little of the garden’s bounty for the rest of the year. One of my favorite things to make is bread and butter pickles. I have been making these for years. They are good and crisp and Mike loves them! My brother Ken and my son John have summer birthdays so I try to make nice jars of pickles for them for their birthdays.
My time to cook and can produce is limited right now but as I travel around the state, I’m keeping my eyes open for the roadside stands and farmers’ markets to find the best produce, especially the fresh young cucumbers to make my pickles. If I don’t have time to actually can them, I just make a big batch, put them in jars and keep them in the fridge. They keep for a long time.
I love to can salsa also because chips and salsa really are the favorite snack food of all the young people in my family all year long. My friend Judy Conover cans it for her entire family, and shares some with me as well. Her recipe is adapted from a Ball canning recipe and it is very good. She shared it with me.
And as I travel around the state and share my recipe book, I’m always looking for good recipes shared by friends! Tonight I was at a backyard pig roast in Westerville and our hostess made the best potato casserole. She promised me the recipe, so as soon I get it I will pass it along to you, too!
Best Bread & Butter Pickles
4 quarts sliced medium cucumbers
6 medium white onions, sliced
2 green peppers, chopped
3 cloves garlic
Combine in large bowl. Add:
1/2 cup coarse salt
Cover with crushed ice. Mix. Let stand 3 hours. Rinse and drain.
5 cups sugar
3 cups cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons celery seed
2 tablespoons mustard seed
Combine. Pour over cucumber mixture. Bring just to boil. Pour in hot sterilized jars. Process 10 minutes.
6 cups chopped, cored, peeled tomatoes
2 cups chopped, seeded green bell peppers
2 1/2 cups chopped onions
1 1/4 cups chopped, seeded chili peppers (hot banana, Hungarian, etc.)
2/3 cup cider vinegar
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 small jalapeno pepper, optional
Prepare stockpot/canner and jars. Combine all ingredients in a large stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Ladle hot salsa into jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles; re-measure headspace. If needed, add more salsa to meet recommended headspace. Wipe rim; center lid on jar. Screw band until fingertip-tight. Process filled jars in boiling water for 20 minutes. Remove stockpot lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.
Fran DeWine is a Cedarville resident, wife of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and guest columnist. She recently released her newest cookbook, Fran DeWine and Tina Husted’s Family Favorites.