"Where there are no pickles, the people perish."

So I’m off and running.  I stopped by the Santa Monica Library the other day to pick up some good pickle reading and brought home four delicious gems, one of which I’m already quite taken with.  “A Primer for Pickles” by Ruby Charity Stark Guthrie & Jack Stark Guthrie is indeed quite inspiring and I’m feeling “primed.”  With terrific illustrations, witty descriptions and literary references abounding, this volume is as timeless as it is thoroughly 70’s.

Who knew that Alexander Pope devoted some of his precious time to pondering the poetry of pickling?  Our authors share with us a meandering in the ABC’s of pickling.

To wit:
“…Look round our world; behold the chain of love
Combining all below and all above,
See plastic nature working to this end,
The single atoms each to other tend,
Attract, attracted to, the next in place
Formed and impelled its neighbor to embrace.
See matter next, with various life endued,
Press to one centre still, the general good.
See dying vegetables life sustain,
see life dissolving vegetate again:
All forms perish other forms supply
(By turns we catch the vital breath, and die)
Like bubbles on the sea of matter born,
They rise, they break, and to that sea return.
Nothing is foreign: parts relate to whole;
One all-extending, all-preserving soul
Connects each being, greatest with the least;
Made beast in aid of man, and man of beast;
All served, all-serving: nothing stands alone;
The chain holds on, and where it ends, unknown.”

Pure of heart one must be to properly produce the precious prize, whether it be a pickle, a love affair or life itself.  And clearly Pope is suggesting to eat your dills fresh from the jar; who knows what little time we have left?

Wise words, to be sure.

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