One of my favorite books as a kid was A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I am a total geek about books, and I loved learning about the heroine, Francie, and her life in the greater context of living in impoverished Brooklyn during the early 1900s. One of my favorite passages has to do with how her mother creatively made do with the very limited food they could afford. At one point, Francie talks about how when she just couldn’t stomach the stale bread concoctions her mother cooked up, she’d save up her money and buy a giant sour pickle. Somehow, eating that pickle made food taste good again for her.
I kind of have the opposite problem. All food tastes good to me pretty much all the time, and I’m not malnourished on stale bread casserole. Nevertheless, I still need a good sour pickle every now and again to set me right. There’s something about the pucker and the crunch a good, solid pickle that makes for an intensely satisfying snack when nothing else seems right. I’ve also searched off and on for a few years to try to find the perfect pickle recipe. I haven’t been terribly successful, but I have to admit that I haven’t been exactly systematic about my search, either. I usually Google a few choice words and then settle on one of the first hits I get. Sigh. Pickle searching can be so exhausting.