On Christmas Eve, the last ornament to be hung on the tree would be a glass pickle. In the morning the child most observant who found the pickle would receive an extra gift from St. Nicholas. The most observant adult would receive good fortune in the year to come.
The tradition was accredited to Germany but does not fit in with any of their usual festivities. Perhaps, says one source, it is because they were famous for producing glass ornaments. Another possibility is that an American Civil War soldier, born in Germany, was in prison during Christmas and asked for at least a pickle to eat for the day. He was given one and claimed it was what helped him to survive. After that he always hung a pickle on his Christmas tree.
Pickles are just plain fun and there are tons of ways to use them in all sorts of recipes for meals and snacks. I've been researching some for my character, Annie Pickels (In A Pickle). This page is just a taste of what I found.
Here's a great recipe for the sports-minded, especially the weekend football fans. Grab a bag of taco chips and dig in!
Dill Pickle Salsa
|1/3 cup finely diced
1 large tomato, finely diced
1 medium pickled jalapeno pepper, cored and finely diced
2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
1/3 cup red onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Combine all pickle, tomato, jalapeno pepper, cilantro, red onion, red vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Pickle and pickled pepper liquids make great marinades. Just combine with a little olive oil and some crushed herbs or add it to a bottle of Italian salad dressing and use for chicken, beef or pork.
- Perk up your BBQ sauce with a little pickle, pickled pepper, or sauerkraut juice.
- Sliced onions and slip into a jar of sweet-hot bread and butter pickles. The onions are great toppers on a sandwich or burger.
- Pickle liquid mixed with the mayo for your potato salad will add a little tang.
- Try a dash of pickle juice in your deviled eggs.
- Cubes of feta cheese can be pickled in leftover pickle brine.
- Try seasoning your pimento cheese with a little pickle juice from your bread and butter pickles.
- Thin some mayo with a little pickle juice and add some celery seed for a tasty cole slaw dressing.
- Frozen pickle juice cubes seem to be a favorite among Texans at their outdoor sporting events. Make these treats at home in an ice cube tray with wooden popsicle sticks.
There's more to come. Stay tuned. . .