Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Yet Another Pickle

Last week a couple of things happened.  Both were in my favor. One - my car finally passed DEQ – the problem was the computer after all, and the part alone to fix it was $450.  Good news is I had the money to pay for it.  Better news is my beloved son was able to install it and everything works now!  The second thing that happened was gas suddenly dropped to $1.95 a gallon, and just as suddenly, a fill-up was about $25 !!!!!

I hollered “ROAD TRIP!”

So, let’s back up a bit and see where this story takes us. 

Recently, I watched an episode of “The Chew” featuring the likes of Mario Batali and Michael Simon to name a few – yep – another cooking show. :o) I love cooking shows.  Michael Simon was making a savory bread pudding (he called it -and it actually sounded and looked quite yummy – his idea was kind of a deconstructed everything-on-it-hamburger with egg included in a casserole dish baked with an egg custard – thus “savory bread pudding.”  When it was baked, he said, “Gotta have a pickle, you know!”  And with that the segment went out of the studio to visit a place in NYC called “Brooklyn Brine.”  

It’s only right at this point to put the link for “Brooklyn Brine” in here….so:

Brooklyn Brine is what I would call “a pickle boutique.”  Never have I seen the like, but then I’m not from New York City.  Who knows? There may be a whole niche market for boutique pickles that awaits, there.  :o)  I was, for sure, fascinated with the process at Brooklyn Brine.  There was no sense of a manufacturing plant there. No….just a stainless steel table with a myriad of Mason-type jars set out, and workers faithful to the pickle, dropping wonderful aromatics, pickling cukes and such into the jars at lightning speed.  Filled, they were capped, set carefully in the canning pots and Voila! Amazing pickles!  I, too, cruised the website after viewing the segment, and as I did so, I noticed a side bar that listed WHERE these pickles could be purchased.  Aha!  I scrolled carefully down through the list and don’t cha know I found Oregon,,,,and finding Oregon,,,,I found Brooklyn Brine pickles were sold at one of Portland’s all time fav and finest deli’s – Elephants Deli.  

Now you need to know I have a daughter who is, and has been for as long as I can remember,,,,a pickle-freak.  She does NOT approve of restaurants who specialize in burgers and serve NO pickles.  Pretty much a walk-out and never-return kind of deal.  Uhhhh, that and catsup.  Please be sure and bring a brand-new full bottle of catsup to the table if you are preparing to serve my daughter.  And, as for pickles, I bought her a whole gallon of Mrs. Neushin’s pickles one year for her birthday. She argues the size point, but I can still see that jar in the lower cupboard in the blue house – her pickles and hers alone!

Thus, it is pretty much a no-brainer for me to make a plan to go buy some Brooklyn Brine pickles for my daughter….especially with Valentine’s Day coming up and my wanting to do something special for her this particular Valentine’s Day.  But that’s another story.

Back to the pickle.

After a phone call to Elephants Deli, I confirmed they indeed had Brooklyn Brine pickles on the shelf – two kinds, one called the New York Deli, and another called the Whiskey Sour Pickle.

Last Sunday, in my now legal, working car, my “Road Trip” consisted of a drive from my home in east county to the Elephants Deli on “upper Burnside” to get some Brooklyn Brine pickles.

I had forgotten what it might be like at the Elephants Deli.  The place was packed to the rafters.  I believe every yuppie in Portland was there.  I walked in, up to the cash register, and inquired, “Uh, can you tell me where the pickles might be?” The young lady replied, “Oh sure, they are all the way in the back there on those shelves,” pointing to the ultimate rear of the establishment.  I looked at the throng, and at the destination point, assessed my need to go to the ladie’s room, and said to the cashier, “Hmmmm, I think I would like to use the ladie’s room first.”  She was more than obliging.  She offered to go get the pickles, (we agreed on two jars, one of each kind) while I took care of my personal matter, and said I could just come right back up to the cash register and she would have them ready for me.

Good plan, thought I. :o)

I made my way to and back from the uhhh matter at hand, and when I got back to the cash register, she said, “I have your pickles, right here, ready to go.”  I looked, and sure enough, there they were, one of each kind, Brooklyn Brine pickles.  I was tickled with the pickle.  Then she said, “That will be $33.00”  I flinched.  Kept my mouth closed for fear my teeth would drop to the floor.  But,,,,I had come this far…and by golly, I was going to COMPLETE MY QUEST!  “Allright,” I replied. Then she said, “Would you like me to put them in a gift bag?”  I looked and she was gathering up a little black bag with “Elephants Deli” imprinted on it, and I said, “Sure, that would be lovely.”  She tucked a bit of white and red into the top, and said, “That will be $34.00.”  By now I am cracking up inside.  I asked for it.  Hey.  Ok.  Let’s just get this over with.  Pulled out my debit card, finished the transaction, and made my way out the door, back to my car, and, about an hour later, back at home, my “Road Trip” was over.

Until, of course, I brought the pickles to my daughter.  Upon which I told her the Michael Simon story, the Elephants Deli story, with a detail or two left out,,,,,and simply said,,,,”believe me, honey…..those are very, very special pickles!!”

I think she liked the Whiskey Sour pickles best. :o) 

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