Saturday, January 6, 2007

Pickles and Eastern Europe

I went to a party tonite with old colleagues from an international organization that I used to work with. We were talking about what we were all working on, and I told them that pickling was my new interest. People who live and work in the U.S. and Western Europe were sort of bemused, but you should have seen the gleam in the eyes of people who live and work in Eastern Europe, and Russia in particular. You know why? 'Cause it is COLD there, and in the wintertime, many people don't have access to fresh vegetables; pickled veggies are staples.

So back to the problem of do I get these Americans that I know to eat my pickled vegetables. People had several ideas, much better than my idea of buying fancy plates and putting out signs. One woman suggested that I just serve pickled vegetables in place of any other type of vegetable....kind of force my guests to eat them. I liked better the idea of having very small dinner parties, just three or four more people (I actually like to invite 3 single people over for's much more interesting than two couples, who often end up talking about themselves and their coupledom). You bring the pickles out as a sort of discussion piece, like artwork. And then you can initiate a conversation about pickles. And I think it's fun to talk about them; everyone has something to say about pickles. Or maybe that's just my perception, and people think I'm crazy when I start talking about them.

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