I’m ambivalent about papaya. I’m not ambivalent about pickles. Whereas many folks have resigned to eating an army green or fluorescent cucumber forced upon their plate or in a jar at the grocery store I am not. In my opinion the BEST pickle is the half sour that populates the streets of New York City. Why this pickle has not broken out of the Northeast and taken over delis nationwide is a mystery.
Jim and I shop in about 6 different grocery stores and farmer’s markets to get all of our various food stuffs. I get pickles at one of two places; the deli counter at Your Dekalb Farmer’s Market or the eastern European section of the Buford Highway Farmer’s Market. Recently we had a party that featured a burger bar. That morning we went to the regular grocery store to gather the last of our ingredients. They have the day-glo slices on the condiment aisle; Jim not so secretly likes these. They also have the ruffled potato chip style ones on the refrigerated aisle that taste like cinnamon and cloves, not pickles. I could not settle to serve these pickles. We looked for 20 minutes. I even overheard a woman say ‘They’re still looking for pickles?’ Finally, a friendly Publix employee overheard us and suggested we go to the deli to get deli pickles. Lightbulb! Thanks! They were not the NYC half sours I adore, but it was better than driving 20 minutes, navigating an overcrowded parking lot and fighting my way through the throngs of people with vastly different cultural customs and ideas about personal space just for a pickle. Even I realized that was a little unreasonable.
To avoid the pickle pickle in the future I make my own. This recipe was originally developed for part of a banchan but these pickles can go anywhere those limp, neon things go. The kids assisted me with the photos for this blog and as a result the contents of the jar of pickles decreased with every shot taken.
Quick Pickle - Makes 1 cup
1/2 Kirby cucumber
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon nigella seeds
Slice the cucumber thinly on a mandoline, about 1/16” thick. Combine the salt, sugar and vinegar, add the cucumber and nigella seeds, let stand for 20-30 minutes, serve.