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Grandma’s FAMOUS Bread and Butter Pickles

Nothing pairs better with homemade tourtiere than home made bread and butter pickles. I’m lucky, very lucky. You see, one of my grandmothers was Acadian. She made the best tourtiere in the world, every year, to be eaten on Christmas morning, enjoyed with friends and family. My other grandma would make jars and jars of bread and butter pickles every summer from fresh produce she grew on her farm in southern Ontario. The two tasty treats would come together every Christmas.


The recipe is simple and packs a sweet, tangy, spicy punch that won’t allow you to stop at just one pickle. My mouth is watering as I type this…

Grandmas Bread & Butter Pickles ~ Recipe


3 lbs garden fresh cucumbers 3 medium onions 2 2/3 cups brown sugar 2 tbs mustard seed 1 tsp turmeric 1 tsp cloves 1 tsp peppercorn 1 tsp celery seed 1 cup apple cider vinegar 3 cups white vinegar 4 sterilized pint jars, snap lids and rings for canning


  1. Wash and slice your cucumbers and onions into 1/4 inch thick slices. Thickness of each slice is entirely personal preference.

  2. Mix the sliced cucumbers and onions in a large bowl. Add 1/2 a cup of coarse pickling salt to the vegetables and gently toss. Let this mixture sit for an hour or so.

  3. Rinse the vegetables off to remove any salt residue left behind.

  4. In a large, non metallic pot or pan, Mix together the vinegars, sugar, turmeric, peppercorn, mustard seeds, cloves and celery seed and bring the mixture to a boil. We use a large enamel coated black turkey roasting pan.

  5. Add your rinsed cucumbers and onions to the mixture while it is boiling. Bring the mixture back to a boil for 5 minutes.

  1. Ladle the mixture into sterilized canning jars. Top off with any remaining liquid. Pack jars to 1/2 inch of the top rim.

  2. Using a non metallic tool such as a chop stick, gently remove any air pockets that have formed in the jars.

  3. With a damp cloth, wipe the rim of each jar and place the sealing disc centred on the top rim of each jar.

  4. Screw band down until finger tight. Don’t over-tighten the band.

  5. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Start your timer only after the water in your canner has begun to boil.

  1. Remove jars from the water bath with an appropriate tool and gently transfer them to a safe spot on a counter or table. Protect any surface from heat with a towel.

  2. Let jars sit for 24 hours undisturbed.

  3. Check that the jars have sealed properly. Any that haven’t can be refrigerated and used within a couple of weeks.

  4. It’s usually best to let the pickles sit for a week or two to develop their flavour, but you can crack open a jar immediately if you want. We always do!

Want to get started with canning and pickling your own veggies? Check out some of the products below. They work very well for us.

Learn everything you need to know about safe canning practises with Bernardin Home Canning


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