It’s Pickling Time!

September 13, 2013

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Did you know that every day of the year is a national food holiday and that sometimes we are celebrating more then one food at a time? Today is pickle day and the minute I saw that my mouth began to water and my memories floated back to being a young girl and pickling with my mom or going to see the pickle king when she did not have time to pickle. Oh and I loved those visits to the pickle king. I think I was his best marketing tool. I would stand by the big kegs of pickles, pickled tomatoes, pimentos, and sauerkraut and salivate. He would let me “sample” the goods and I would continuously proclaim to customers how good they were. All the while, my mother watched me out of the corner of her eye while she picked up fruits and vegetables by the nearby vendors. She shopped, I ate pickles and pickled tomatoes, and the pickle king sold jars to people who watched me enjoy what I was eating one little bite at a time. I cried the day the pickle king man stopped coming as that was part of what made going to the market with my mother so much fun. With him gone, my mother and I would spend considerable more time pickling. While our pickles and pickled tomatoes were good, it was a different experience then being able to make them swim in their kegs and pick out the perfect pickle.

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A friend of mine laughs at me and says I can find spiritual lessons in just about everything. So when I offered to help a friend learn how to grill, it also got me thinking about the qualities that are important when making food on the grill.

One of the things I began thinking about is that the quality of what comes off the grill often depends on what is done before the food ever goes on the grill. This past Memorial Day, like every other holiday, we had our potluck barbecue. A friend called me the day before to let me know she was bringing some marinated chicken and pork chops. By the time she arrived, the meats had been sitting in their marinades for more then 24 hours. The marinades had soaked through the meats and you know that every bite you took would be incredibly flavorful. Conversely, another friend brought some chicken to cook, which was not seasoned or marinated at all. She brushed some sauce on while it was cooking. While it looked flavorful and tasty, it was dry and flavorless. The one that had been marinating all night was moist and juicy and made you want to keep going back for more; it was that good.

 

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