Bessie Mortimer’s Bread and butter Cucumbers

Makes about 9 – 10 x 450g jars or 19 – 20 x 200g jars

This recipe comes from my friend, the late Bessie Mortimer, who was the most marvellous cook and generously shared her recipes with anyone who asked.

3kg Lebanese cucumbers [approximately 24]
600g p/w brown onion, finely chopped
100g Maldon sea salt
1500g Vine Valley white wine vinegar
1500g white sugar
6 fresh bay leaves
20g yellow mustard seed
½ bunch dill, stalked and finely chopped

Sterilised jars, lids and bottling utensils….see [1]

Wash and dry the cucumbers and, without peeling them slice them finely with a mandolin…about 1mm thicknes. Put them into a large bowl, add the onion and Maldon and wearing food service gloves mix it together. Weight the mix down with a bowl that fits with some plates in it and set it aside in a cool place for about three hours.

Tip the cucumber mix into a colander and squeeze it out as much as possible.

Weigh the vinegar and sugar into a stainless steel or enamel lined saucepan large enough to hold all of the ingredients and place it on high heat. Stir to lift the sugar from the bottom, add the bayleaves and bring to the boil. When it boils add the yellow mustard seeds, cucumber, onion and the dill.

Stirring over constantly bring to the boil and immediately and turn the heat off. Bottle while still hot and seal with the lids.

Do not…put your hands in the sterilised jars or the insides of the lids and use the sterilised tongs and jam funnel.

Store in a cool dark place…refrigerate after opening.

[1]Sterilising Jars Wash the jars and make sure there is no soap remaining. Put about 1cm of water in each of the jars and splash the outsides with water. Put them in a microwave and microwave on high for 4 minutes. Put the jam funnel, tongs, ladle and lids into a saucepan and cover them with cold water. Place them on high heat and bring to the boil…boil for 2 – 3 minutes.