I Want to Tell You About The Pickle Lady
My father was born and raised in Northern Minnesota. Most summers we made the drive from Seattle to visit relatives.
When we made these visits one thing I remember is food. Lots of food.
It didn’t matter that we just ate at the last house that we visited. We ate again.
I am not talking chips and dip type snacks, but full spreads of amazing home cooked amazingness.
There were hot dishes (casseroles) and salads and bars…..yummy dessert bars that you might only get at church potlucks. There was amazing, Midwest food at ev.er.y house we visited. Sometimes there were 4 or 5 homes in single day.
I remember one particular house. Actually, not the house at all, but what I experienced there.
I was 8 or 9 years old. I remember my first experience with home-canned pickles.
Well, home canned anything for that matter.
My mom didn’t can and I didn’t live near my grandmother, who passed away when I was 7.
So seeing this jar, not from the grocery store, with food in it was foreign to me.
I tried one pickle. Then another. Then, next thing I know I had eaten the ENTIRE jar of pickles.
These pickles were AMAZING! Dill and garlic and crisp goodness.
After that day I referred to my Great Aunt Gertie as “The Pickle Lady.” Anytime we would talk about family I always asked about The Pickle Lady.
Last year, at the family reunion, my cousin Amanda (Gertie was her Great-Grandma) traded me 2 jars of Great Aunt Gerties pickles for a set of custom made Redneck Wine Glasses. (IE Mason jars on candle sticks) I CLEARLY got the better end of THAT deal.
Fast forward to yesterday. I posted on our family Facebook page “Does anybody have Aunt Gertie’s pickle recipe and would be willing to share?”
Amanda had the recipe and it was on my phone within hours!
Was I really going to be able to enjoy the pickly goodness again?
I went to canning my 20 pound box of pickling cucumbers, following her recipe to the letter. I did NOT want to mess this up.
I have canned a little, but never pickles.
I ended up with 7 pints and 14 quarts.
One jar didn’t seal so The Principal and I decided to try the pickles. We had friends over so of course we shared.
I was nervous they wouldn’t turn out.
Upon first bite I knew I had done ok.
So ok that I shed a tear and that bite took me right back to Gertie’s kitchen, at the age of 8 or 9, with my parents sitting at the table with their coffee cups and bars visiting with ‘rellies’ while I sat quietly and ate an entire jar of pickles.
What a sweet tale. I love food memories! I made some muffins lately that I tasted and thought OH MY. My grandpa’s secret recipe in his “healthy muffins” must have been ground cloves, too. The scent reminded me so much of him.