Friday, 3 February 2012

A Right Old Pickle

Heaven and Hell in a jar

"Can ya tell'em at the school he's got a tempracha,"  came the voice of intercom mom from floor 23 of the tower block.
"Is that an' igh tempracha or a low tempracha," I ask.
"Woh - dunno for sure dear - but ee's right poorly."

I trudge back to the bus. It is Friday. The chances of intercom mom having a thermometer seem unlikely. Her boy is a right little sod and secretly I must admit I did hope that if she did have one, she had inserted it up his bottom. I think he attends about one Friday in each half term. At the school I informed the staff. As I swung the bus out of the yard I'm sure I saw them dancing in my mirrors. 

However, let me get back to the real business and glamour of my life as a best selling romantic novelist. In my last blog I raised the issue of pickles and a lady apparently had not encountered pickled onions. You know, we always think that everyone is like us. When you are a kid you think that your family is normal. I never forget when I first went to a friend's house and found that not all parents hated each other. I was astonished. 
You never know when you might need a pickle

Now I think about it, you do not see many pickled onions in France. You do see cornichons (dill pickles) and one just cannot eat dried pork saucisse without them. But the pickled onion is probably almost as iconic as British fish and chips.  Most fish and chips shops still have a huge jar of pickled onions on the counter. It was my first ever experience of the impulse buy. Mr Henry Papadopoulos, the Greek fish and chip shop guy, plopped an enormous crisp vinegar soaked onion on top of my battered cod and chips (fries). Oooh, As my mouth blended the acid onion crunch with the crisp batter and the soft hot white fish sprinkled with salt, I experienced a deep physical joy. Soon after I discovered sex and I think it was only that that saved me from addiction and a life in the chippie. Incidentally, if you do eat a pickled onion, make sure your lover has one too. Greasy, salty gum-sucks are OK but unilateral pickled onion can slow things.
I think the goldfish might be dead.

 Before I get away from the fish and chip issue I must make a major statement. The best fish and chips I ever ate were on the pier at Santa Cruz in California. As I sat in the open air overlooking the Pacific Ocean, an enormous pelican decided to dispute possession with me. Those birds are killers!

I'm sure there are all kinds of pickles out there unknown to Brits. In Texas, somewhere near Fort Hood, I found a quaint "old time western" shop selling cactus pickle. I wonder if anyone else does pickled boiled eggs? I received some as a gift at Christmas. Chip shops often sell them but they are just so acidic that my poor old tubes shriek at the sight. I've dotted a couple of pickle pics around the text just to excite you all.

And finally, some readers will not have encountered the quest of Kathy Lynn Hall to raise money for Wounded Warriors. She has written an e book, "The Great Twitter Adventure", the profit of which will be donated to the fund. It sells at only 77 pence in the UK, and is a first rate read! The above link is for for Amazon UK. Here is the Amazon USA link. Come on guys....99c or 77p...

Emma thinx: If you think you'd give your right arm for something, remember those who've given theirs for you.


  1. I remember encountering pickled eggs in a pub when I was 21. Half a bottle of Southern Comfort was involved. Then most of the jar of eggs. Then I remember the barman waking me up where he found me under the table.

    And I never touched a pickled egg again.

  2. How about RUSSIAN pickled cucumbers? They're huge, crisp and...sweet. I leave to your imagination how to interpret that one... Thanks for the post, very enjoyable as always!

  3. Ha! Only you could make a whole pickled blog!! Interesting, indeed. My spouse makes a mean pickled asparagus. Yum! Pickled eggs? eh. They were very popular here back in the 40's, 50's, last century. Still see them occasionally, though. Along with the pickled pig's feet. Neither of which will ever pass these puckered lips!

  4. Emma - I love your style. Pickled eggs and hog's feet are a favorite in bars and convenience stores across the south. Don't see them much out here in the west. I have a passion for cocktail onions so I'm sure I'd love that big juicy one sitting on top of the jar.

    Thanks for the plug and I really love your way of putting it - just sent that quote out into the world.

    So glad to have really met you this week!

  5. In my part of Texas, they pickle a heckuva lot. Weird things. Stuff that makes me go, "Ewe!" Plain ole pickled cukes are my fav. I make fermented pickles in a crock every summer.

  6. There are many traditions in the south of the U.S. - one is, if you can't fry it, pickle it. And then there's, so what if it's picked, fry it anyway.

    Kathy's book, The Great Twitter Adventure is a marvelous read - and another one comes to mind when I think of marvelous reads - Knockout by another of my good friends.

  7. "I never forget when I first went to a friend's house and found that not all parents hated each other. I was astonished."

    Made me laugh out loud! I can so empathise!


Thanks so much for stopping by. Always so happy to get your feedback. Emma x