Wow, I learned so much about you guys (and pickles in general) from your comments on the last post. For example, there seem to be a lot of us in love with pickled beets. I dare say we have good taste. Calamity Jane of Apron Strings writes of the pickled fiddleheads and wild cucumber she made in her Alaskan kitchen. Gillis raves about the Grillo’s Pickles cart on Boston Common (2 spears for $1 all summer at the Park St. T stop). Bobbie fondly remembers the giant pickles on a stick at the Wisconsin State Fair. Pengwenhsd once had a man propose to her upon tasting her homemade bread and butter pickles. And the favorite jarred brand seems to be Claussen dills (a recipe for a homemade version is here).
But where people got downright poetic was talking about Jewish deli pickles. Fellow blogger Aimee of New To Farm Life writes:
“I'm a pickle fanatic and it is hard to pick just one. But as I was thinking about it, a pure and perfect memory came back to me. I'm about seven years old, and we've gone to New York to visit my grandparents. Mom has dragged us kids around museums all day and we are ravenously hungry. We go into a real old-fashioned New York delicatessen to pick up food to eat on the train home. I've never been in a place like this (West Coast child) and am stone cold fascinated by the deli case with its bright salads, slabs of fish, a hundred kinds of cheese. Up on top of the counter, above my head, is a gigantic glass crock full of equally gigantic pickles. I point it out to brother and sister and we set up a ruckus, clamoring for pickles. The pickles, when we get them, are so big we can't close our fists around them, and they are so briny and crisp and delicious my mouth fills up with water. I can remember everything about those pickles - the snap they made when we bit into them, the warty cool skin of them, the cloudy brine in the jar swirling with garlic and spices. Most of all I remember the feeling of being small and curious, wide-eyed in a new place, with my mother beside me, teaching me, showing me, interpreting the world for me.”
What a fabulous pickle story!
Reader Ashley writes of her grandmother’s pickles:
“My grandma made the best dill pickles. They were left in their brine on the porch of her bungalow in the Catskills, the center of summer life for Jewish New Yorkers escaping the city heat. The pickles had much of the old country in them, with a garlicky bite and ultra-satisfying crunch. The perfect refreshing summer snack, though I often ignored my mom's warnings, gorged on the salty treats, and woke up in the middle of the night parched.”
Mmmmmm. Can anybody else use a drink right now?
There were even some requests for other readers’ pickle recipes (some of these requests are my own):
- Millie’s carrot and daikon radish recipe;
- The refrigerator half-sour recipe from Pickledbeets; and
- The pickled shiitake recipe from the Momofuku cookbook that Louisa mentioned (though I just helped myself to that recipe from this fine blog).
So good work, people. I wish I had 30 cookbooks to give out. Do we have 30 cookbooks to give out, Storey? Just kidding. (Unless we do.)
In order to be fair, and instead of writing names on pieces of paper and making Husband pull them out of a box like I’ve done in the past, I used a random number generator to pick the number of the winning commenters. And the winners of a copy of Put 'Em Up by Sherri Brooks Vinton are:
Winners, I will be in touch. For the rest of you, don’t worry, there will be other raffles in the future. I won’t rest until everybody’s won something good.