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For the Love of Pickles

Know some pick­le crazy kids? I do! A favorite birth­day din­ner that my grand­kids request is Pick­le Pas­ta (recipe below) — not the cold pas­ta sal­ad vari­ety, mind you, but warm but­tery noo­dles dot­ted with briny pick­les. My daugh­ter cre­at­ed this sim­ple but oh-so-sat­is­fy­ing dish dur­ing her col­lege days when the cup­boards were some­times near­ly bare.

Sarah's Pickle Pasta

I guar­an­tee you will have eaters who pick the pick­les out to savor sep­a­rate­ly; and eaters who will pre­fer bites of pas­ta with their pick­les — either way it’s the per­fect oppor­tu­ni­ty to chant: “Peter Piper picked a plate of pick­led pas­ta.” Then it’s time for a pick­le sto­ry or two.

Two favorites are Lau­ren McGill’s Pick­le Muse­um (Har­court 2003) by Jer­dine Nolen and the ever­green Pick­le Things (Parent’s Mag­a­zine Press, 1980) by Marc Brown.

Lauren McGill's Pickle MuseumKids will enjoy Jer­dine Nolen’s unique tall-tale voice and super descrip­tive lan­guage in Lau­ren McGill’s Pick­le Muse­um. Lau­ren McGill is obsessed with pick­les until the day she vis­its a pick­le fac­to­ry and her class­mates go crazy for pick­les, too.

Sud­den­ly, Lauren’s spe­cial thing doesn’t seem very spe­cial. After adjust­ing her out­look, Lau­ren dis­cov­ers a way to share her love of pick­les that brings hap­pi­ness to oth­ers and her­self.

Look for this book with its cheery and charm­ing illus­tra­tions (don’t miss the pick­le quilt) by Deb­bie Tilley at the library or used book store.

Pickle ThingsPick­le Things will get every­one gig­gling. Marc Brown’s clas­sic rhyming book is great for new read­ers, while adults find the sil­ly pick­le inter­ac­tions fun­ny, too. The illus­tra­tion of a pick­le leav­ing a ring in the bath tub is my favorite. And don’t laugh too hard at the notion of pick­le pies and pick­le cakes. Check the inter­net for trendy pick­le cup­cake recipes. Hmm…The per­fect dessert for pick­le pas­ta night?

The old­er edi­tion of Pick­le Things is avail­able at libraries, while a new­er reprint (Marc Brown Stu­dios, 2016) can be found at stores or online.

Sarah’s Pick­le Pas­ta
Serves 6 – 8

1 16 ounce box elbow mac­a­roni*
6 Tbsp. but­ter
2 cups (or more) chopped dill pick­les
Splash of pick­le juice (option­al)
Sea­soned salt
Fresh grat­ed parme­san cheese

Boil the pas­ta accord­ing to box instruc­tions and drain.

Sautée the pick­les in melt­ed but­ter until heat­ed through.

Add but­ter to drained pas­ta and sprin­kle with plen­ty of sea­soned salt.

Mix in a splash of pick­le juice and top with fresh­ly grat­ed parme­san cheese.

*Veg­etable pas­ta can be used to improve the health­i­ness of this dish  

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