July is very appropriately National Pickle Month. Who doesn’t want a dill spear on the side of their sandwich or a bread and butter slice on top of their burger or a pile of relish on top of their grilled hot dog? With these summer staples, pickles are the perfect accompaniment as they are crisp, fresh, light and add a lot of flavor. Pickling began as a way of preserving foods for out-of-season use and also to keep foods fresh for long journeys. With refrigeration, we don’t have to worry so much about keeping foods fresh for long journeys, but pickling is still used for keeping out-of-season foods fresh for the off-season. I have memories of making five-gallon buckets of pickled ramps in the spring when working at db Bistro Moderne. They were served with a duck pate and we had to have enough to last until the following spring. It was not easy feat but somehow, we made it work.
We can’t talk about National Pickle Month without talking about Rick’s Picks. Their Phat Beets are my favorite… I love beets for obvious reasons, and these are made with just the right amount of rosemary and garlic and are just delicious. Their recipe for Phat Beets Happy Appy makes lots of appearances when I entertain. While Ricks PIcks Classic Sours are delicious, you cannot go wrong with adding some Mean Beans or Hotties to your Bloody Mary. Homemade pickles are a great way to use up that load of vegetables you got from your CSA and can’t possibly eat before they go bad, but pickling isn’t just for cucumbers and vegetables anymore.
Pickle juice has become as popular as the pickles that are inside it. A few years ago the pickle back, a shot of pickle juice, paired with a shot of whisky became extremely popular. And this recipe for pickle-brine chicken is so delicious and flavorful. Pickling liquid could also be used as part of a vinaigrette on a salad. I’ve also read that a few sips of pickle juice could relieve heartburn or make that hang-over go away. The good news is that pickles aren’t going anywhere so let’s celebrate them in all of their glory this month and beyond! We’re offering 10% off our collection of Rick’s Picks Pickles through the end of the month with code PICKLEMONTH10