Every once in awhile I read a recipe and I just know that I HAVE to make it, even if I have not previously been that excited about that particular food before. And usually it turns out that I adore whatever it is that I have made and wonder why it has taken me so long to come around to it. Sometimes, something about reading about the ingredients and how they come together changes something from so-so into yum for me and these bread and butter pickles were one of those. Before I read this recipe on Smitten Kitchen, I would rather chow down on a nice salty dill pickle and while I would eat a bread and butter one, the sweetness was always mildly startling. Now, I have a rapidly dwindling jar of b&b's in the fridge because I can't stop snacking on them and have made everyone who sets foot in my house try them. These pickles are salty and sweet and crunchy and tangy and delicious and as refrigerator pickles are quick to make and don't require proper canning.
Technically you should make these with kirby cucumbers, or some other small pickling cucumber, but they didn't have those at Safeway, so I just used 4 of the smallest of the regular cucumbers they had and it worked out just fine. Wash the cukes and slice them into 1/4 inch coins and thinly slice 1/2 of a sweet onion.
Mix the cucumbers, onion and salt together, then let sit for 2 hours. Smitten Kitchen tells you to put ice on top of the mixture, but as I read after I made them you could ditch the ice and just pop the bowl in the fridge which is what I will be doing next time.
After your cuckes have sat for 2 hours, mix the sugar, turmeric, celery seeds, mustard seeds, coriander and vinegar together and bring to a boil.
Drain the cucumbers, tossing any ice that is left.
Add the cucumbers to the vinegar mixture and bring it almost back up to a boil then take it off the heat.
Put the whole mess (pickles, onions, vinegar and spices) in a jar and enjoy within 3 weeks.
The full recipe can be found on Smitten Kitchen.