I asked the woman about her pickling method and she dipped her tongs to give me another sample, shook her head and said in her thick southern accent, Would you believe it? I got my recipe from a butcher. A New York Jew.
She went on to tell me that the good Lord had told her to plant her seeds here, rather than here, (she pointed from the ground to her stomach) because she had already raised her little brother when her mother died in childbirth and I thought it interesting that she offered up that information. That she had shared what might have been a painful history in such a nonchalent way, dunking her tongs, yet again, in the bucket to share another delicious treat with me.
Tyler and I sat on the grass in Marion square, with purple fingers and tongues. Of course, it struck me that we sat in Charleston, two yuppies from Brooklyn, eating pickled beets from a woman who spent her life working hard and planting seeds, who, somewhere down the line, had a story that fell a little off course, a story I wonder about. A pickling recipe from a New York Jew.
Photo Credit: Tyler