Pickle People Say Yeah!

7 Nov

Have I ever mentioned that I love pickles?

Turmeric-scented Pickled Summer Squash
I’m going to go with, yes.

So when Chris from Apartment Therapy: The Kitchen and Electric Stove asked me if I’d be interested in helping him organize a food blogger Pickle Party, I nearly jumped out of my chair. Oh hell yeah I was interested!

I guess in doing this story, Chris had met Jon, the genius behind Wheelhouse Pickles. He was our pickle pusher on Saturday night. I’ve never met a dealer I liked so much, but there was one unpleasant side-effect to Jon’s pickles.

Pickle RedBeet Egg
They made me feel guilty. Guilty? Yes, guilty. Why? Were they Catholic pickles? Jewish grandmother pickles? Close. Jon’s pickles are better than my mom’s.

Dilly Beans

I always thought hers were best. Her Dilly Beans are legendary, as are her pickled red beet eggs. But Jon’s? Yeah, they’re better. More nuanced, more modern, and highly, highly addictive.

Pickle Party Platter
I stood by the pickle platter, picking and noshing for hours, like I was one of the Queen’s guard. The only muscles that moved were in my arm and my jaw. I reached for a Sour Barrel. Munch, munch, munch. Just one more bean. Chomp, chomp, chomp. No one will see me grab those insane pears. Nibble, nibble, nibble. I was a woman possessed.

Pickle Party Potato Galette

Apparently Jon is, too (pickle possessed that is). He spent half the evening in the kitchen cooking up delicious pickle-friendly fare, like celeriac soup, garnished with pickled beets. There was a potato and cheese galette which was perfect with those redonkulous pickled pears. A beef stew with some kind of cucumber based pickle in it and a red beet and goat cheese salad. Oh and there were cocktails too. Jesus, I want to live in his world, surrounded constantly by delicious brined things!

Pickled Beet Salad

But lest my pickle preoccupation give you the impression that it was just me rolling around like a pig in a pickle patch, there were other people there too!

The amazing husband and wife team behind Stinky Brooklyn and Smith & Vine brought pickle-friendly cheeses and meats (hie thee there and grab the tres leches jobbie from Portugal rubbed in paprika, trust me).

Stinky Brooklyn Cheese & Cabbage Centerpiece

I finally got to meet the Grocery Guy and Gal, the wine obsessed half of Cravings, and a very cool contributer to Gothamist Food. There was one normal sized member of the Tiny Banquet Committee, one-not-so-poor-looking-half of The Paupered Chef and the not-so-pickle smitten Smitten Kitchen accompanied by her pickle-smitten husband (say that five times fast). NYC food bloggers mailing list creator and party doyenne Habeas Brulee was there, as were the Curd Nerds and a few Apartment Therapists.

Due to the size of the hosts’ apartment we had to limit the guest list, but hopefully not so the next time, because, oh yes, there will be a next time! So if you’re an NYC-area food blogger, yummy food maker or purveyor or a gourmet with the inside track on a space that could host a lot of funny, friendly foodies, please drop me a line at chickeninacart AT gmail DOT com.

To everyone I finally got to meet on Saturday, nice to meet ya! To Jon, thanks so much for ruining my mother’s pickles forever for me! To Stinky Brooklyn thanks for the protein! And to Chris, a million thank yous for being such a gracious host and having such great ideas!

To everyone else in Manhattan salivating at the thought of these pickles; Meet me in line at the Real Foods market on Houston and Sixth Ave on Saturday morning. It’s the only place to buy these puppies on the island. Apparently they’re available lotsa places in Brooklyn (including Marlow & Son). For once Brooklyn you’ve won one, but only this one time!


8 Responses to “Pickle People Say Yeah!”

  1. sher November 7, 2006 at 10:58 am #

    Great idea for a party!! Whenever I see a photo of pickles, my mouth starts to water! :):) And it’s watering big time right now!

  2. Laren November 7, 2006 at 12:11 pm #

    “Cool contributor” — yay! Very nice to meet you as well, and hope to run into you again soon at another food-related fiesta!

  3. Chris November 7, 2006 at 12:22 pm #

    Ann, thanks so much for your round up and for all your work in gathering this crowd! I got so caught up in passing the pickles and mixing up the vodka cranberry, that I didn’t know this many bloggers were there.

    R* and I are so glad everyone had a great time and I can’t wait for the next event. Your photos are great . . . and your summer squash pickle recipe is one of my new faves.

    Jon’s pickled beans are amazing in martinis!

  4. Grocery Guy November 7, 2006 at 10:12 pm #

    Thanks for all the fucking awesome pictures of the party and pickles.

    How do you do it? Seriously. I’ll give you my pinky cast in lucite if you show me your weirding ways with the digital.

    Uh, also, if you’re willing to wrangle all of the food ‘tards for the next one I’ll host in my project-tastic 1000 sq ft loft off the G train.

    Maybe we could do pairings of, you know, booze with booze or something.

  5. deb November 7, 2006 at 11:04 pm #

    It was so nice to meet you on Saturday, even though I have now been outed as ever-so-slightly pickle-averse. But, married to that guy, how could I come off as anything but? Thanks for organizing!

  6. lobstersquad November 8, 2006 at 1:48 am #

    oh, so jealous. There are so few of us here! never seen a pickled beet egg before, very fascinatin´.

  7. Tim November 8, 2006 at 4:32 am #

    Apart from a few dreadful pickled onions, I have not pickled before. I have been pickled, but not really pickled veges. They look marvelous. Any suggestions on where to source recipes? I have a quantity of summer veges that I could consider pickling!

  8. ann November 9, 2006 at 9:29 am #

    Sher, Lobstersquad & Tim — If you guys ever make it to NYC, I’ll personally help put together the themed food blogger party of your choosing!

    Laren — I was thinking we’d run into each other at something more like a shindig ;-)

    Chris — next time we’ll make sure you’re not the host so you can mingle more!

    Grocery Guy — all I do is take a lot of pictures and chose the least repulsive ones… Get yr butt over to B&H and let the guys there hook you up, they know their sh*t yo.

    Deb — oops! SORRY!

    Lobstersquad — they’re goregous aren’t they? a bit of an acquired taste, but worth biting into for that reverse sunset view at the very least!

    Tim — the BIBLE of canning is the Bell Blue Book. I believe they’ve just released a new one, but if you can find the previous edition, get that one. Bell is the name of the company that make the canning jars everyone uses here in the states, they know all! other than that, head over to Martha Stewart’s site. she did a piece a few years ago on “refrigerator pickles” which are pickles that aren’t actually sealed and put up, they’re simply brined for a very short time and consumed within a few weeks or a month. it’s my favorite kind of pickle to make at home b/c there’s no boiling and sealing and stuff, plus it’s instant gratification, and who doesn’t love that??

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