Have you ever opened your mouth, and inserted your foot? I have. I’m actually quite famous for that…
I tend to be the ‘pickle in the middle’ a lot at work. “Prudy, can you tell ‘so and so’ that I need him in my office?” “Prudy, tell ‘so and so’ that he has to contact ‘him or her’ to re-open that work order number before the end of the day today”….
Well, I used to work with a guy named Horatio**, and one day was given direction to tell him to move some boxes for Jezebel**. In other words… I was asked to be the pickle in the middle.
**Names have been changed to protect the innocent and the Jezebel.
I knew that this wasn’t going to go over very well…given the animosity between Horatio and Jezebel…and I knew that Horatio was really busy working on another job… but I was given a task, and I had to carry it through.
I found Horatio busy working on that job.
“Hey, Horatio… I’m wondering if you would have some time to move some boxes…” I asked him.
“For who?” He asked me.
“Um..Jezebel” I reply.
“What do you people think I am?” he asked (a bit heated), and I’m sure didn’t want me to answer.
But… in my uneasiness…my clumsy Prudy way….
Of course I did.
I gave him an answer.
“Horatio…I don’t think you’re anything…”
Let’s all pause a moment, and let those words sink in….
Mmhmm. Yep. I said those words. I opened mouth…and inserted foot.
But I truly didn’t mean them to come out the way they sounded. What I was trying to say was that I didn’t think he was lower than me, nor did I think he was lower than Jezebel…or anyone who we work with for that matter. I look at him as a co-worker. A good guy. I look at him as an extremely talented craftsman. I look at him as a friend.
That’s not how it came out…and I felt terrible for it…and I still feel terrible for it.
Deep down….he knew… he knew that I didn’t mean it the way it sounded….but he had to be mad for a little while, he had to take some time for it to really sink in…and realize that I didn’t mean for those words to sound the way that they did. We hugged it out a couple of days later… and we were back to normal after that.
The pickle in the middle.
And in honor of my pickleness… I want to share with you my Aunt Lizzy’s Horseradish Pickles.
They’re sweet… they’re sour…. And they have a definite bite to them. They’re delicious! And so, SO easy to make!
Now here is where I can actually use those words…and really mean them…
“I don’t think the prep work is anything…”
It’s a matter of slicing up the pickles if you so choose, cooking up a simple horseradish syrup, and switching out the pickle juice for the horseradish syrup…
However… they do take a few days to actually pickle. But that’s just a few days of flipping the jar once a day to make sure that the flavor goes through the whole jar.
They’re great for picnics, lunch, dinner, or even breakfast if you like pickles with your eggs… and they’re even great to grab out of the jar and eat…you know…just because you wanted a pickle.
And Aunt Lizzy was such a character…I know that she would have been laughing with tears streaming down her face if she would have seen that whole scene going down!
Life is good, it’s a “sometimes it doesn’t pay to be the pickle in the middle…but it always pays to be the pickle maker”, kind of good.
Aunt Lizzy’s Horseradish Pickles
Makes 1-1/2 Pints Pickles
1-1/2 pints dill spears (drain and throw the juice away)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup cider vinegar
4 oz strong prepared horseradish
In a small saucepan, bring the sugar, water, and vinegar to a boil. Boil just until the sugar is dissolved.
Remove from heat, and add the horseradish. (Make sure you keep your face away from the pan! It’s pretty strong!)
Place the pickles in your own canning jar, or you can keep them right in the jar you bought them in. Pour the horseradish syrup over the pickles, and place the lid on the jar tightly.
Let stand for five days, flipping jar once a day to stir up the mixture.
Store in the refrigerator. Keeps for about a year (but won’t last that long!)