One of the best things that I learned in Texas was that pickles are among the perfect accompaniments to barbecue. At Smitty’s in Lockhart, I tried both the sweet bread and butter pickles and the sour dill pickle. The winner was the former as it cut the richness of the meat. The flavor and textural combination was so good that my husband asked me, “Didn’t you used to make bread and butter pickles? Would you make again soon?”
Indeed, I once did make those pickles every summer for about 10 years, canning them in pint jars. I fell in love with the old fashioned American pickle in high school, when my best friend Danielle Glover introduced them to me. Sweet, tart, and a touch savory, the thick slices of cucumber had me from the get-go.
Danielle enjoyed Mrs. Fannings Bread’n Butter pickles that came in a tall glass jar. Those were the ones I bought for a while, though I ate them too often and too quickly that they became an expensive snack. When I got my hands on a copy of James Beard’s American Cookery, I began making my own, tweaking the recipe every time. Over the years, my renditions seem to edge toward being an East-West kind of hybrid pickle. Call it an Asian American bread and butter pickle!