Planting Seeds

While in Charleston, we went to the farmer’s market in Marion Square. I’m a fan of anything pickled (stick it in a brine and I’m good to go) and I found a woman urging me on with free samples of pickled okra, cucumbers, and carrots. Try this, she’d say and stick her metal tongs into a giant plastic bucket with something new. I settled on purchasing this tub of pickled beets.

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


7 thoughts on “Planting Seeds

  1. What a great story, omigosh I was right there with you. You captured the moment perfectly, I can just see and hear that woman talking about planting her seeds. Have you ever tried watermelon rind pickles? They are my favorite! Super sweet, they taste like spiced candy.


  2. Yes, I'm with Elle, it sounds like a a great beginning for a new story. And it was sweet of her to share that story. She sounds like an interesting person.


  3. Isn't it wonderful when you meet, briefly, a really interesting person with a story to tell that you can carry onwards, as you have done by sharing with us? I am sure that we shall all be thinking of her planting and pickling, glad to have heard her tale.


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