The Pickle Incident
I told my doctor I get very tired when I go on a diet, so he gave me pep pills. Know what happened? I ate faster.
Joe E. Lewis
Since I occasionally ask my Facebook or Twitter followers for ideas on stories or opinions I can write about; I sometimes find myself at their mercy. My most recent two suggestions came from my original two readers, the General and Kelso.
Kelso wanted a post about monkeys; but the only real opinion I have on monkeys is that I am okay with you dear Monkey sir, as long as you do not throw your feces at me, bite me, pilfer my pockets, or steal my beer or Daiquiri.
Also I am not a follower of Hinduism so I do not worship Monkeys. They are cute though with their big eyes and fuzzy little selves. I like fuzzy, who the hell doesn’t? If you can show me someone who does not enjoy fuzzy, anything fuzzy, and I will show you someone who is tactile deficient and likely extremely disgruntled with life. I mean soft like a Gund Teddy Bear fuzzy, not fuzzy like a wool sweater.
The General in her infinite wisdom asked about a post on dieting. I am by no means a diet expert. In fact I would probably be worse to y’all than Paula Deen when it comes to healthy cooking. That isn’t to say I do not own a huge variety of cookbooks and a large collection of recipes; because I probably own more than one person should. Is it weird that I actually enjoy “reading” a cook book? I love taking bits and pieces of different recipes and sloshing it all together on the other side to see what shakes out. Naturally over the course of my life my attempts at cooking things have varied and I have certainly improved.
My first attempt at “cooking” was really more of a fourth grade attempt at “inventing”. I have mentioned that I was a latch key kid at times in my life and this particular invention came about when I was home alone. Most of my best “inventions” did; parental supervision always caused my best laid plans to go all pear shaped. I decided that for my lovely and beautiful fourth grade teacher, during a lesson unit on great inventions/inventors, I would make her an invention. It is that easy you know, to invent, you just make it. Frankly I do not understand why y’all are just sitting here reading my drivel when you could just being inventing. I stray from the story though; my fourth grade teacher Miss Brandt was beautiful. She was everything I thought I would be one day when I grew up. She wore pretty flowered dresses that never got torn or dirty and she did not have to wear tights that crumpled up around your knees and ankles. No she had real lady stockings; I being of very vivid imagination assumed they were silk like they were in all the old movies. (Looking back now, and knowing what a teacher’s salary is, it is more than likely those poor stockings came out of the same tacky plastic egg from the grocery store as my mother’s did) At the time I was attending Lutheran school in Alabama and my tomboy-ish ways were cute at first, and then more of an annoyance. Especially after the Wednesday Chapel service my class was in charge in and my scrawny legs in those horrible white tights that always sagged on me. On my way up the aisle to the front of the church to assist in the presentation my class was doing, those saggy white tights fell to the ground and I fell ass over tea kettle up onto the alter. White bloomers in the air and all! I have always had the ability to face plant at the best moments.
Any way you slice it though Miss Brandt was beautiful with her dark blonde hair cropped short like Donna Reed (Okay so I watched a lot of old television and movies) and silk flowered dresses with no runs or picks in her stockings. She was tall and most important to me at the time was that she had braces! As a little girl I saw braces as the epitome of high fashion; all my favorite “cool” babysitters had them. The natural conclusion in my eight year old mind was that if Miss Brandt still had braces even as an “old person” then she had to be awesome and know all sorts of things even my freak parents did not. Even when she got her “removable braces” (retainer) I wanted one of those too! I was absolutely convinced that the pink part that fit into the roof of your mouth was candy. So now that I have thoroughly covered how cool Miss Brandt was and completely lost the topic….
I knew she liked pickles. She had at least a pickle with lunch every day. So in my fourth grade awesomeness, I invented: Pickle Dip. Do not all jump up and down with joy here; I know it is difficult for your mind to understand the sheer power of fabulous going on here. Pickle dip was going to be the thing of the future and I knew it. Dip to actually dip your pickle in… to make it more… pickle-y! I am not talking those crap sweet pickles. No we were going with Dill Pickle, the original. So what I am saying here is I ultimately mixed nearly an entire bottle of my mother’s dried dill spice in the cabinet into a medium, that’s right not the small, Tupperware bowl full of mayonnaise. I added some pickle relish because… duh pickle dip and pickle relishes belong together like peas and carrots. This was no silly dip that tasted just of pickle this was Pickle Dip to enhance your pickle experience. It smelled so strongly of dill and uh… essence of pickle that when the lovely Miss Brandt opened my gift she gagged with joy and sparkly laughter. Our classroom and indeed part of the hallway smelled of dill for the remainder of the year and part of the next. I think they finally removed the asbestos from the ceiling or something and got the last of that smell. It was a sad day. For some peculiar reason MANNA’S PICKLE DIP never really took off. I still love pickles and dill, and one day…
It was a very long time after what became known as the “pickle incident” before I was left unattended with a kitchen again. Hell, even his Lordship, seven years my junior was left with me to make sure I did not concoct some magical potion of culinary art again. Eventually time forgives all horrible memories. We moved across the country when I was in sixth grade. I had to ride a bus and come in alone after school completely by myself at this point. Before there had always been some program or person around; not now, now I was in the big leagues. We lived in Seattle and a whole new world opened to me.
TO BE CONTINUED…