October 20, 2010

Kerosene Cucumbers


{my spooky snack}

I'm a huge fan of small town festivals which always seem to have lots of little ladies peddling their wares. Apple butter, homemade jams and pickles are things I look for when attending such events. I mentioned a fun Oktoberfest event that I enjoyed in Nashville a few weeks ago, but one aspect of my adventure turned out to be less than positive. One of the goodies I purchased was a jar of homemade pickles labeled "lime water." This doesn't refer to lime, as in the fruit, but instead to a crisping agent (calcium hydroxide) known as pickling lime. I think it's sort of an old-fashioned method. Part of what intrigued me was the vivid color of the pickles and part of me bought them because I figured I could get a blog post out of the experience. Little did I know that they would poison me!

I guess poison is a strong term and I really have no proof as to what (if anything) happened. All I know is that after I ate a pickle, my vision was blurry and I felt sort of tipsy (Not that I know what tipsy feels like...love you Me-me). Sadly, the southern beau forced me to throw the entire jar of electric green non-fruity pickles in the trash. After reading more information today, I found that pickling lime has been known to cause botulism when not rinsed correctly from the pickles!

This post is a public service announcement of sorts...it's wonderful to support local products, but when somebody makes something in his or her home, there's no guarantee that it is according to standards that are required for commercial sales. I think it's smart to make sure anything we buy like this has an intact seal and doesn't have any strange colors or smells. And if it tastes less than normal, don’t eat a whole jar of it! Trust your instincts folks. At least I stopped after a couple of bites.

Have you ever eaten lime water pickles? Have you ever bought something like this that made you feel a little sick? We live and learn I suppose.