A colorful display of Ball canning jars sitting like needy souls at the end of an aisle in Target stopped me yesterday. I’m not sure why I lingered over the cornflower blue pints, lavender quarts, and petite pistachio-green pepper jelly jars.
I have never canned anything in my life other than my services at AT&T and Dish TV.
What I imagined as I held one clear quart jar up to the light with its rubbery pink seal and its metallic lid was a jar of kosher dill pickles in my refrigerator. Good-bye Clausen!
“Ode to Experience” the icy snap of my own homemade pickle!
With Labrador Retrievian enthusiasm, I bought 12 of the clear quart jars, downloaded a recipe or two, and then earnestly tried to collect the ingredients. Mundane are the ingredients! So mundane that I bought enough Persian cucumbers at Trader Joe’s to make gallons of quarts.
Okay, I said to myself after leaving Trader Joe’s. Now on to Whole Foods to pick up the dill seeds.
Not dill weed. Dill seeds.
I thought, Steinbeck will bust his buttons when jars of raw-pack pickles with a snap sit on my counter. Why, I’ll call my kitchen Cannery Road. Why, maybe this activity will take the place of my obsessively playing Words with Friends and ruminating over the New York Times Crosswords. Why, I will need a website to market my pickles. How about http://www.pickleswithasnap.com?
It wasn’t until dill seeds were impossible to locate that I began to understand that heretofore, unbeknownst to me, an underground of canning aficionados must be feverishly pickling not only cucumbers but beans, carrots, peppers, and gluten-free cauliflower here in Fremont. And (note this clue, Mr. Holmes), dill seed is the key ingredient. Where are these men and women who took all the available dill seeds in the entire metropolis?
At this time, all potential pickle production here at the Rancho has come to a stiff halt.
Where and to whom does a girl turn when <alas> she is unable through no fault of her own to turn a cucumber into a pickle?
To Amazon.com, of course.
The dill seeds arrive on Friday, just in time for Pickles With A Snap to go into production.