There’s something remarkable about living in New York City – the bright lights, the theaters, the hustle and bustle… and the food. One would be shocked to learn that in this age of instantaneous gratification where it seems there’s a deli on every corner and a delivery boy from a restaurant featuring virtually every cuisine a mere phone call away, New York City can be a food desert when it comes to the little things in life.
I was in a pickle quandary and have been for many years. Before moving north of Mason-Dixon Line..I grew up loving what I now know as “Bread-n-Butter” pickles. Back home on the banks of the Meadow River, we simply called them pickles, because we didn’t know of a pickle any other way. Then, I went to NYC and learned the hard way, finding a Bread-n-Butter pickle is about as impossible as finding a needle in a haystack. Here in New York, they resign cucumbers to a salt brine filled vat and permit them to rot. There are two levels of rot: If they’re only half-rotted, they are referred to as “half sours”. But if they are left to soak in the brine until they are totally limp and as gray as the Staten Island swamps, those are the “full sours”. Yankees LOVE them, but I’m convinced it’s a taste acquired at a very early age – VERY early. My attempts to acclimate to these wholly inedible, limp gray monsters have failed.
Why oh why oh why can’t I find a Bread-n-Butter pickle in this town? Hell’s Bells, I can find Duke’s mayonnaise, Moon Pies, and B-C Powders if I look deep and hard, but my Bread-n-Butter beauties had eluded me – until just recently, that is. One day, I popped into that very fancy food store, Dean and DeLuca, and I looked, as I have for years, to see if maybe , just maybe, a highbrow store might like expand past the typical grocery store pickles… (cue sound of angels and trumpets) Lo and Behold! There on the shelf were 3 jars of Bread-n-Butter pickles. Miss Jenny’s Bread-n-Butter Pickles. I grabbed all three jars, not giving a rat’s ass if they were good or not, they were Bread-n-Butter pickles and at last I had been led by the Lord to find them!
So, were they any good? Good? Oh, my – they were better than good. They were the crisp, sweet gherkins of my youth and half-way through the first jar, I began to weep. EUREKA! (cue Etta James) At Last, My Love Has Come Along…
I went to www.missjennyspickles.com and sent a message to info@ and told my sad sad pickle tale, only to have Miss Jenny HERSELF, call me back (because she saw my phone number on my blatant email of self-promotion) . And now, I am also in love with with one Miss Jenny Fulton. Not the mythical name on the jar stuffed with Southern Love, but Miss Jenny Fulton. She is a firecracker with true Southern charm and that Appalachian Mountain accent, just like the pickle packers from Rainelle had.
On this week’s Colin Lively Show, I have the Pickle Princess herself. Miss Jenny was also frustrated trying to find a good pickle , like the one her Grandma used to make. Jenny said, “I will just make my own damned pickles!” She started with her Grandma’s recipe and hand sliced, hand cooked, and hand stuffed the tasty treats in quart jars,and began selling them. And people love them! Even my half sour and full sour NYC fancy friends have fallen in love with them.
So, MISS JENNY is my guest this week. I am her number one fan and you will be too. She is just as fabulous as her Miss Jenny’s Pickles… Now if only I find some pineapple upside down cake and a hot dog with chili, slaw, mustard and onions my life would be perfect!! Maybe she can send some up from Winston-Salem with my next pickle order.
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