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.
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.
Kids 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 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)
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