Preserving · Recipes

Ginger Bread and Butter Pickles

I’ve never been a fan of celery seed in most anything – be it in potato salad or pickles. I find it harsh tasting. But now…it can be left out and find some new flavors. You won’t regret it. I adapted a recipe from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, page 303. Which I might add, if you love to can, this is an excellent book to have on hand.


Ginger Bread and Butter Pickles


  • 10 cups chunky sliced cucumbers (see below)
  • 4 medium (hand size) onions, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup canning salt
  • 3 cups white vinegar (5% acidity)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp mustard seeds, yellow or black
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • Pickle Crisp


Wash/scrub cucumbers and let air dry on paper towels. Trim off both ends of each cucumber, then slice.

Place cucumbers, onions, and salt in a large non-reactive bowl, toss to coat, cover bowl and let rest for two hours.

Pour into a colander, rinse very well, shaking off gently when done.

Bring a canning kettle half full of water to a boil, add in 5 pint jars while doing so.

In a large non-reactive pot (stainless steel or non-stick), combine the vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, ginger, and turmeric, bring to a boil, stirring often. Once at a boil, add in drained cucumbers, stirring gently. Bring back to a boil.

Meanwhile, lay out a clean kitchen towel (turmeric stains, so use one you don’t care about!), pull out the jars and drain, sterilize a canning funnel, ladle, and a chopstick or tool for removing air bubbles.

Pack hot vegetables into the warm canning jars, pushing down as needed for a tight pack. Ladle hot liquid over, run a chopstick or tool around the edge inside, to release air bubbles. Add more liquid, if needed, to have a ½” headspace. Add in 1/8 tsp Pickle Crisp, if desired. Wipe off rims with a damp new paper towel. Place on a new canning lid, and tighten a band to finger-tip tight.

Place jars in canning rack, lower into water, making sure the jars are fully covered by water. Return to a boil, covered. Once boiling, process for 10 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack covered with a clean kitchen towel. Let cool, check that all the seals are flat. If any flex, refrigerate and use within a few months.

Makes about 5 pints.


Pickles taste best when they have had a few weeks on the shelf, for the flavors to develop.

Pickle Crisp isn’t needed, but it does help with ensuring you have, well, a crisp pickle! It is calcium chloride.

If you happen to have leftover pickles and liquid, just pop them into a small clean jar, and leave them in the refrigerator – they will become tasty refrigerator pickles in a few days!