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Bread and Butter Pickle

Home-produced cucumbers, grown under glass, are available almost all year round, with just a brief gap from November to February. Choose firm, straight cucumbers that have an even colour to make this sharp-flavoured pickle, which is good with simple dishes such as sandwiches or bread and butter - hence its name.
The yield will depend on how tightly the vegetables are packed and the capacity of the jars.

ingredients

3 large ridge or smooth-skinned cucumbers
4 large onions, skinned and sliced
45 ml (3 tbsp) salt
450 ml (3/4 pint) distilled white vinegar
150 g (5 oz) sugar
5 ml (1 tsp) celery seeds
5 ml (1 tsp) black mustard seeds

method

1. Thinly slice the cucumbers, then layer the cucumber and onion slices in a large bowl, sprinkling each layer with salt. Leave for 1 hour, then drain and rinse well.

2. Put vinegar, sugar and celery and mustard seeds in a saucepan and heat gently, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Bring to boil and boil for 3 minutes.

3. Pack the vegetable slices into pre-heated jars and add enough hot vinegar mixture to cover. Cover immediately with airtight, vinegar-proof tops.

4. This pickle must be stored in a dark place or the cucumber will lose its colour. Store for 2 months to mature before eating.

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