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Sunday, 18 August 2013

MARY STADNYK'S BREAD & BUTTER PICKLES and a letter

August 18/82  

I was to see the doctor yesterday.  He gave penicillin pills to take.  It has worked a little but a long way to go.  I have pneumonia.  I quit for a while lugging cans of water to the geese.  I will look after them when I get better. 

It’s 11 o’clock in the morning.  Dad went to a sale.  It starts 11:30 so he had an early dinner. 

I didn’t have fun at the wedding as I was burning up.  I only drank coke and 222 pills. I washed my hair before we went.  With sweating so much hair never got dry till I went to bed.

I won’t have any cucumbers for pickling as they froze, once in the spring and now again so there is only a few unless it don’t freeze now for a long while. 

It rained last night .  We don’t need much rain now that the harvest started.  George and Donald are swathing wheat and mustard.  Matt bought a big swather so it goes fast. 

I have a big wash when I get better as I should have done this week but I will leave till I am better. 

I have dilled 5 pints beans.  That be enough for me as I still got some from last year and we don’t go for them much.
I been doing a bit of embroidery but not much since I got sick.  Dad is doing fine as he stayed in bed for two days and he got better so he’s all right now. 

I had done some rhubarb with raspberries.  Dad like it.  I did six quarts and I have 5 quarts of last year’s so I will have enough.

I will close now as I haven’t much to say.

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In August, it's time to look at Mom's pickle recipes.  

MARY STADNYK’S BREAD & BUTTER PICKLES

            Mom said, “One thing about them is to follow the directions carefully.  They will stay crisp.  That is something you don’t always get with Bread and Butter Pickles.”

12 large or 15 medium sized cucumbers
            *Soak them in cold water, unpeeled, overnight.
            *In the morning, do not drain, but peel and slice them into large chunks.     
            *Peel 6 large or 8 medium onions.  Cut them up in large pieces.
            *Add the onions to the cucumbers.
            *Sprinkle with ½ cup salt.
            *Soak for several hours.

Sterilize some sealers.

**Drain the cucumbers and onions well before starting to make the syrup. 

Prepare Syrup:   

4 cups brown sugar
4 cups mild vinegar
2 teaspoons peppercorns
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
4 teaspoons celery seed in a bag

2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons ginger
2 teaspoons turmeric

*In a very large pot, make a syrup of the sugar, vinegar, pepper, cornstarch, mustard seeds, and celery seeds in a bag.   Boil a little.
* Mix together ginger, turmeric, and cornstarch.  Moisten a little with cold vinegar or water.
* Add to syrup and boil for 3 minutes.    
*Add the drained onions and cucumbers and bring to a boil.
* Cook for 5 minutes – after they come to a boil.
* Transfer to hot, sterilized sealers.

Use after the pickles age for 2 weeks.

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Donald and Karen are planning to make these pickles.  They have a huge garden and these pickles always been one of Donald's favourites.


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2 possible origins for the name -- Bread and Butter Pickles:

(a)  During the Depression, some sandwiches consisted only of bread and butter slapped over these pickles.
(b)                         Somebody made a living by making and selling these pickles so the pickles were her “bread and butter”.