I think it was a pickle festival on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in 2008 that really sparked my interest in all things pickles. Before then I’d tolerate pickles, mostly ignoring the obligatory pickle served on the side of a burger or diner type meal. As a kid I wasn’t really too interested in them either. I think they were just too sour for my fussy little taste buds. But I do have fond memories of my Dad opening up his favorite can of Israeli pickles or my Mom preparing a batch of her own home made pickle varieties. But I have no memory of ever really eating one. 10 year old me would think “Pickles? Bleh!”
After that LES festival and all the free samples you could want I really developed a taste, no craving for pickles. But at that stage I was more interested in the consumption and not so much creation of pickled goodness. All that changed after a great little gift from a friend who picked up on my keen interest in pickles. One year she had no choice but to start pickling all the cucumbers that grew in her garden. She didn’t know what else to do with them. I bombarded her with so many questions. “How do you do it? What kind of equipment do you need? How long does it take? Is this process related to canning? Will I make myself sick if I mess up a step?” She assured me that it was quite a simple process and then one day she surprised me with a little pickle gift. She brought me everything I’d need to make my own pickles, all tucked into a cute 1 quart jar and the rest is history. Thanks BD!