An Ode to a Pickle Jar
Plus, the only Eggplant Parm recipe you'll ever need
Did you know that when we bought this house, it was under the condition that we had to buy it with everything in it? Did you also know that it hadn’t been lived in in over 10 years and we are only its third owners since 1866? Unsurprisingly, this left us with A LOT of things we didn't need including a 1980s yogurt maker, five fondue sets (one is sufficient), ironic cat signs, and I cannot even begin to tell you how many sets of “linens” to go on the (formerly) 6 beds and three iron cots.
It might sound charming (I’m talking to you, the wizardly talented,), but truthfully it left me feeling completely overwhelmed. By the end of last summer, we had made a good push on sorting what we wanted to keep: the funky dressers, the navy blue, wrought iron beds, some of the cool English china and retro glasses, the stereo, and of course, the unessential, but absolutely charming set of worn, painted buoys. We are by the sea after all.
Upon returning this July, I quickly realized I hadn’t finished the job. Not even close. Much to my surprise/dismay, I came upon a cupboard full of glass jars. Not the charming type you’d want to put flowers in. I’m talking about the Smuckers’ jar type-jars and once that held President’s Choice Alfredo sauce. I sighed. Big. Getting rid of garbage and recycling in this province is comically challenging. The county alternates between the two once every two weeks leaving us constantly trying to keep things under control. Everything also must be in clear bags. No black bags allowed. I realize it’s for the greater good, but when you’re trying to “clean house” it can be problematic. There have been many trips to the dump and they too are quite particular!
So no one is more surprised than myself that one of those jars, an old Bick’s pickle jar to be exact, turned out to be one of my most essential kitchen tools this summer. For as much of a bursting-at-the seams situation I have/had, I was missing a cocktail shaker, something to make aioli in and a rolling pin. And somehow, this clear straight-sided jar aided me beautifully with all three. My martinis were ice cold, the aioli perfectly swoopy and golden and the crusts adequality rolled. In fact, I won't part with it and I won’t be buying any of the aforementioned items in its place.
Rest assured, today’s recipe does not involve a pickle jar. What I’m really trying to hit home is that you do not need fancy gadgets to get the job done. If you’re in a pickle, just look for a jar.
In Wednesday’s “Dinner Again” column, I mentioned that I had made Eggplant Parm for Kelly and Chris, which I thought would be a nice thing to share with you too.
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