Pickles. You either hate them or love them. I can see a case for either side. Because if you don't like to eat anything green, this condiment/meal/side dish is about as ugly as green can get. Not to mention that some pickle versions have bumps and I can't imagine that as a selling point to anyone skeptical of the pickle. On the other hand, if you're a green veggie lover, pickles are the best! Whichever camp you belong to, brace yourself because National Pickle Day is on Monday, November 14, 2016.
The very first Pickle Day was celebrated in NYC in 2001 according to NationalDayCalendar.com. Research for the site could not confirm who created National Pickle Day or mention why it was celebrated but I love how it lists all the common types of pickles that are out there: "... Dill, Gherkin, Cornichon, Brined, Kosher Dill, Polish, Hungarian, Lime, Bread and Butter, Swedish and Danish, or Kool-Aid Pickle." Choose your fave or try a new one and crunch away.
I was the kid who would come home from school and roll pickles into single sliced, plastic wrap removed, American cheese for my afternoon snack. It was like a "go to" combo for me - sort of like peanut butter and jelly or mac and cheese. I would eat around five pickle wraps in one sitting because the combo was one of my favorite kid-friendly hors d'oeuvres. Recently, I was comforted to learn that my sister-in-law craved the same pickle wraps when she was pregnant confirming the old wives' tale that many pregnant women crave pickles. However, I'm not sure she used the same high-quality cheese I used when I was a kid.
For the longest time I couldn't understand why, when I brought home a jar of pickles, my hub would say he didn't like that "kind". I had no idea there were different kinds of brines and processes. I thought the only difference was the shape of the pickle slices and the brand name. I knew that the spear-shaped slices obviously served the purpose of being a side dish to the sandwiches and burgers while the round shaped slices were to be served in or on the sandwiches and burgers. Nowadays, they have sandwich sliced pickles in a hybrid shape that is long like the spears, but thinly sliced and resembles a rectangle for maximum coverage in a sandwich. The process and the brine make a huge difference so if you're picky, you may love one type of pickle and not another. My hub prefers the Bread and Butter pickles for his sandwiches. Mystery solved.
Every summer I have visions of growing my own veggies and fruit and then mastering the technique of jarring/canning them. And at the end of every summer, I decide that I'll wait until next year because its a labor intensive event and I'll have more time next summer (ha!). It's pretty intimidating to cook your home grown produce and on top of it, learn about the preserving process. But since National Pickle Day is coming up, I will buy some cucumbers from a store and make some pickles to give as thoughtful pinches to my fellow pickle eaters. I went onto Pinterest and found two no-cook recipes that they refer to it as refrigerator recipes: Bread and Butter Pickle Recipe and Easy Dill Recipe.
Trader Joe's Pickle Popcorn is a wonderful snack and for $1.99 it makes a great thoughtful pinch for a pickle person in your life without any time spent in the kitchen. For a quick, easy meal I served these dill chips with the crockpot Italian Beef sandwiches after the game on Sunday.
According to my daughter, you could never have too much pickle flavor and scent. She could form her own pickle club because she loves to eat the pickle popcorn, lather her lips with her Dill Pickle Lip Balm and drink the juice (brine) when the jar has no more pickles. Meanwhile, I credit the Minnesota State Fair for the brilliant marketing of fried pickles. My son actually tried them this year and was hooked. Dipped in ranch, the guy could not get enough. That was one small victory for him to eat something greenish and he now counts pickles as his choice for a green veggie. Baby steps.
There was a character named Twinkle on an animated Disney TV show called Higglytown Heroes. In every episode Twinkle comes up with the most elaborate plan to solve a problem and every time, inevitably, the plan would be shot down with realistic facts as to why it wouldn’t work. Her trademark line for disappointment was “Oh pickles!” My daughter was only 18 months and hooked on Higglytown Heroes (I know, TV before she was two years old. No judging please?) and I remember thinking I needed to change my vocabulary now that I had a child who was on the verge of talking and I was four months pregnant with my son. I wondered if saying "pickles" would ever give me the same satisfaction as saying f&^cK or sh%$ whenever I was disappointed (a.k.a. pissed). Let's just say, pickles didn't stick in our house.