I sometimes have more fun writing blogs in the weeks when nothing big happens than in the weeks when something does. Then I am left with a choice. Either I can kick myself for letting a week go by without having a small adventure or I can write about recent events that aren’t adventurous at all. When I do the latter well, I feel like Calvin Trillin. 

Last week I wrote about forgetting a pot of potatoes cooking on the stove. I did not mention that the potatoes were to make potato salad as a side dish for the hot dogs I was going to serve at a card game that night. When I went shopping for wieners, buns, and potato salad ingredients, I also bought a small jar of pickles. My plan was to dice a single small pickle to add a little zing to the potato salad. 

I cannot remember the last time I bought a jar of pickles. On a whim, I chose gherkins. I’d never purchased gherkins before. I am not even sure I’d ever eaten one. The only thing I knew about that particular type of pickle is that the pompous staff manager in Dirty Dancing offered Baby a gherkin when he caught her sneaking around the dining hall kitchen. 

I used only half a pickle for my potato salad, so I ate the other half. It wasn’t bad. Now gherkins can be added to my list of foods that includes frozen peas and romaine lettuce. These are everyday foods that I did not encounter until I was an adult. As a kid, peas (unless they came out of the garden) were canned peas, lettuce was iceberg lettuce, and pickles were dill pickles. I give my parents a pass on the lettuce; in the 1960s, the options for salad greens were limited. I have, however, yet to forgive them, the National Grocers Association, or the entire canning industry for canned peas. As for pickles, I blame myself, as I’ve had fifty years to grab the jar that sits only inches from the baby dills on the supermarket shelf. 

I don’t really like pickles. I seldom eat the spear that sometimes comes with a deli sandwich. Another year will pass before I buy another jar. When I do, I might try bread and butter. It can be my adventure for the week.

Steven Simpson