It’s National Pickle Day. Which are your favorite? Sweet or Dill?

I grew up in a big two-story house in the southern tier of New York state. You could walk a large circle downstairs from room to room. In the hall between the kitchen and bathroom there were “things” lined up against the wall; the dog’s water and food bowl, the Charlie Chip can, an extra kitchen table chair, and, a crock of icicle pickles. If I had friends over, it wasn’t unusual to stop at the crock and help ourselves to a snack. Those were the good old days.

My husband’s family has a recipe for dill midgets. They put small cucumbers in jars with a saltwater brine, stuff in some dill and garlic and leave the jars on the counter for ten days before eating. The first time I saw them made I insisted the jars wouldn’t seal unless they were put in a hot water bath, but I was wrong. My sisters make bread-and-butter pickles and they always put them in a hot water bath after filling the jars. I don’t understand why the dills don’t need it.

We buy almost all of our fresh vegetables at a public market. Every year when the cucumbers are in season we walk slowly past looking at them with longing and share our memories of home-made pickles. We rarely make them, and why I don’t think to eat them at home I can’t explain. My sisters still do.

In our city we have a couple of burger joints that still have a condiment bar with things like onions, relish, and pickles for the taking. If we go to the one that has sweet pickle slices we eat them as an appetizer. The dill slices we put right on the burger. Funny how people choose to join flavors to get an enhanced one. Oh, and we always add the onions.

I have a friend that is a health nut and she eats sour things on purpose to make her body more alkaline. Says it helps to stave off disease. She’ll eat a half a lemon if it’s on her plate, but refuses the dill pickle. We tease her and takes turns eating it.

In honor of the day…….Go eat a Pickle!