Now That's a Crock!

For years, I've searched in vain for a really good dill pickle - the kind I had when I was a kid. The results have been disappointing. Maybe I'm too picky, probably because I was raised in a house where, year after year, dill pickles of the most delicious and fragrant kind were created by my bubbie (and God) on our back porch. There stood a huge crock in which Bubbie would put a bushel or more of pale green gherkins, vinegar, brine, salt, water, and a secret assortment of spices that the Heinz people would have killed for. On top went a dinner plate held down by a large stone. "This," she explained "is so that the pickles are always covered with the liquid." Bubbie always shared with me her most precious cooking secrets believing that I would carry on her legacy. (Little did she know that the only thing that I would become proficient at in the kitchen was defrosting in the microwave.)

After that, we waited. How long, I don't remember, but it seemed an eternity, especially for me who preferred pickles very well done. Unfortunately, other members of my family liked them half done and began eating them weeks before they were to my liking. By the time they were, in my estimation, perfect, there were only a few remaining at the bottom of the crock. I remember feeling real animosity toward my family, especially when I had consumed the last succulent morsel.

Today, when I hear someone say, "that's a crock" meaning something is grossly untrue, I'm tempted to respond nostalgically, "Yeah, full of pickles," a comment which is sure to end the conversation.


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