So I have a passion, a passion for the pickle. The snap, the sour I can crave by the hour. I love them sweet by way of the Bread & Butter. I love them sour with a Kosher flutter. I can’t get my fill of Dill. Garlic, chili peppers, clove however they’re done up, I’m smitten. I go to Umami Burger here in Studio City not for the meat of the matter, but for their well healed pickle plate (platter, and I’m done). It usually has a sampling of veggies in different brines. Some are sweet and some are very spicy. I’m devoted to the crimini mushrooms they serve. I could do a whole plate and forget my parmesan fricco, roasted tomato catsup smothered UmamiBurger. I love the stuff. It started early….
Who's this Mason? His jars? and his & Dixon's Line
It started early one morning in Cape Cod. There were always smells that were crazy in the kitchen of that beach house. We congregated with my Mom’s family seldom in the year, usually in the summer. And it was a big recipe fest of my Russian heritage. This particular morning Aunt Eva was making her world famous pickles. She boiled her brine, and dressed up some mason jars stuffed with cucumbers from her garden. (There will be much more on Aunt Eva later on in DIO, we may have to have a season devoted to arts learned at the feet of some amazing women) These pickles made in the am, were ready in the pm for dinner. What?? This blew my little mind! Doesn’t there have to be some large vat of water, jar tongs, goggles and smithy aprons to complete canning and or pickling? Little House made it look very hard, so much so that the men cleared out of the cabin for safety’s sake (theirs). “Instant” pickles??? Eva, you got some ‘splainin’ to do. She assured me they would be, swung open the fridge and retrieved a jar from her last batch. She fed me the last one, raised her painted eyebrows towards me making remember the flavor. Happy Dance. Aunt Eva’s pickles are some of the best. Pulling a tiny bright pink sample lipstick, she adorned. She grabbed her macrame car key chain, her purse and several coffee cans that were each strung with old bathrobe belts and made for the door. Sun was getting high and she was going to get to
Even at Christmas..
pick some blueberries before lunch. So I learned what can make you pucker, quick pickles and mini lipsticks.
The sights and smells of Marion MA are with me to this day. Aunt Eva entrusted me with the famous recipe. I try to make it whenever I’m in that kitchen. As far as I know I’m the only one that has it, as she swore me a blood oath not to share it. A cousin looked over her shoulder at Eva’s funeral and said, “I guess I’ll be getting that recipe now….”. No, I don’t think so. Humor me here. Eva’s range supersedes the Great Beyond. The moment I pass that recipe I have a feeling I”ll be run over by a blueberry farmer’s truck or something. It’s serious. She was serious. I can’t disappoint. I do however have another recipe that she shared that I’ll give you here today. She gave me so many great recipes and seeing her commentary at the top makes me smile.
Our next episode is entitled FOY, SOY AND A VEGGIE PO’ BOY! The recipe features Vietnamese Banh Mi, a sandwich with a desired protein, pickled veggies, lime, chilis and cilantro. Some of my new favorite flavors as my adult palate progresses. It also features the very beautiful and talented Miss Colleen Foy, more on her soon. Here’s her IMDB (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2460445/). The veggie po boy could be made with barbecue or protein of choice. We’re making ours with a fantastic marinated tofu with some quick pickled cucumbers, carrots, Julienne onions and maybe some daikon. We’ve got a really simple marinade for the tofu that can be re-used in Rockstar fashion so that there’s little waste and you can start your next batch right there. We’ve a simple technique for making a quick pick that speeds Aunt Eva’s up several bytes. It’s amazing how a little marinade or pickling can change the dispositions of even the most obstinate of flavors. Actually, I had another aunt who was quite successful in changing her husband’s demeanor through pickling. I digress.
Episode 7; is in the hands of Editing, it’s marinade as we speak. We’re very proud of the flavors we’re bringing you and the company that we’re bringing ’em with. That’s what we want here at DIO is for you to make the most of your time in the kitchen, with those important around you. That’s our pickle, and we’re sticking to it.
For each quart:
2 cups boiling water
1/2 cup white vinegar
3 tbsp Kosher salt
(just heat above to boiling point to dissolve salt)
In each quart jar add:
3 tbsp pickling spices
3-4 cloves garlic
2 pieces of chili peppers
Fill jar with small green tomatoes or slice green tomatoes, made in morning can be ready for supper
PS: At said Cape house the new generation is learning the sharing of time and food under one roof. This is very exciting to watch. It’s cool to see them bringing to the table and smiling as they go. To take them blueberry picking and such. Well, sometimes there’s not enough room in the house. Not enough for personal and mental space. We flee. We retreat to the wooden deck that surrounds the house. Wooden. Deck. Beach house. Wooden. What I’m getting at? Wood by the ocean dries and well… one of my GD’s (goddaughters) was dragging her foot along the deck and gave herself one terrible splinter. Oh, it was awful, the crying. But a rite of passage, we’d all been there one form or another (mine deals with a large shrub of Beach Roses, not once but twice) But in the little angels pain she couldn’t say splinter, she may have confused pricker with splinter and the result became that she had a ‘tewwible pickle’. “Pickle”? Pickle. Pickle stuck that summer, so many ago and will continue to steep in my heart for days to come.