Near me are three Ace Hardware stores. One replaced a failed unit in downtown Clinton. I'm not surprised it failed; if you don't sell antiques from your store in downtown Clinton, well, you're in the wrong place. Another landed in Halls, nicely coinciding with the Walmart upping stakes and moving out of its former location. Walmart didn't go far, it is almost literally within sight of its former location, but it's just a wee bit further up the road. Why they went there, I can't fathom. But it's farther out of Halls, leaving folks in that little suburb that much more hard up for retail options. And another sprang up in the void left by the eventual dissolution of what had been the indefatigable Parker Brothers Hardware in Knoxville. Each one is compact, dense, and covers a pretty broad range of products. I love 'em.
So I was shopping for some wood stove door gaskets and cement. No problemo, I knew without even asking that Ace would have it. And on my way toward the door, I saw...
Being a fan of pickles I naturally snatched one up and plunked it on the counter beside my coil of fiberglass gasket and high temperature cement. I got 'em home, chilled 'em for an hour or three in the fridge, cracked 'em open.
They are amazing. These are some seriously good pickles. They're too spicy for some folks, Sweetie doesn't care for them on that basis alone, allowing that they are very tasty but far too spicy to suit her. That means they're all for me! No, wait, it doesn't. Son #1 also enjoys a mean pickle and we shared the jar. That didn't take long.
They're pricey, but they are so worth it.
Then, a couple days ago, I found these:
Smoked Black Pepper Pickles! Even spicier! So they're going to be great, right?
Wrong. There's a distinct black pepper flavor all right, but the most prevalent flavor coming out of this is mulch.
I'm not kidding. It took me a bite or three to figure it out, but this tastes more like compost than anything else. Wondering if I'd chanced upon one that just hadn't been quite right, I tried another. I think it must be the smoke flavor that's added, but they're dreadful. Maybe it's like cilantro with some people: most people have no trouble with cilantro but some say it tastes just like Palmolive. I hate to say it, but I've actually happened across a food item that I refuse to finish. I'm throwing them out.
I'm one of those people who says cilantro tastes like dish detergent. Maybe the problem is me?
But be not dismayed, Trü! I'm coming back. Those first pickles were fabulous. Sweetie may love the bread and butter pickles. I know I won't but that's just me - I can't stand sweet pickles. Can't please everybody.
A little sweet pickle relish in my deviled eggs, however, is crucial to a full and happy life. So even I can find use for sweet pickles.
I could dig into the question of whether you're going to "own" food. You take it in, take it apart for nutrients, and a fair portion - all of it, pretty much - eventually gets excreted back out. Anyway. Those kosher dills are fantastic and I highly recommend them.