My boyfriend and I were at grand army plaza in Brooklyn one Saturday in September and I spotted a barrel of little cucumbers and I had a flash of memory of watching my mother making dill pickle spears in our kitchen in Mechanicsburg, PA. He’s a trained chef, and so I always turn to him for culinary answers. I said, “Do you think I could make pickles?” He said “sure!” I asked him what I needed and he said I probably had everything in my kitchen. I have a really well-stocked kitchen because I cook and entertain a lot, so when I went home, I consulted my Joy of Cooking and the internet, and by 7 when he came over, I had a batch of sweet and sour pickle slices, and a batch of dill pickles—all in old jars I had gotten from my mother, filled with her homemade jam or spaghetti sauce. They were beautiful (see picture). And, in a few days, I found, they were delicious. I was hooked. The next week, D. showed up with a Brooklyn magazine, Edible Brooklyn, with an article about two guys who started their own pickle businesses in Brooklyn—in their own small kitchens very much like mine. There was a recipe for dill pickles generously provided by one of the guys, and for my next few batches, I used it.
I used to be such a workaholic--I never spent any time on things that I enjoyed apart from work. There was a time that my only hobbies were work-related. So it's been really precious everytime I find something that is so far from work related that I love to do. I also love the fact that it was a childhood memory that got me pickling, and I love the fact that I’ve been finding great fresh local vegetables in my own neighborhood in Brooklyn to make them.