Friday, December 21, 2012

The Great Pickle Walk of 1992

DSCF1065, by Angie Ouellette-Tower for

 The Great Pickle Walk of 1992

A few days ago I shared with you a precious heirloom recipe for an Hors D'Oeuvre from the 70's (click to view).  I have had this treat for New Years Eve for more than 3 decades.

Back in 1992 I was 20 something and in college.  At that time (I'm sure many of you can relate) - money was tight - I had no garden of my own and therefore I did not have my own home canned goods stored away in the basement.  It was New Years Eve day and I realized that I did not have any pickles to make my family's traditional "Hors D'Oeuvre from the 70's".  A few days prior I had purchased the cocktail sausages and the Pillsbury dough and I thought that I had a jar of pickles in the fridge - I was wrong - I was "pickleless"!

We had a substantial amount of snow in 1992.  The county in southern Michigan that I lived in did a great job of clearing snow off of the main roads but the subdivision and country roads didn't see a plow for days after a storm.  Depending on the depth of the snow, there had been many times when, without a 4 wheel drive vehicle, these back roads were impassable. 

In my opinion there are 5 different kinds of snow:
1.  Sparkly and powdery snow that "poofs" along as you walk.
2.  The dry pebbly snow occurring during the coldest parts of winter.
3.  Slushy, sloppy, slippery snow - usually occurring during March when we are getting closer
     to spring.
4.  Then the dense Igloo making snow.
5.   Finally, the icy glazed snow similar to a hard crust.

Now, don't get me wrong , I love snow and I love winter! - But the snow that year, at the end of 1992 was a little bit of everything all at once.
Getting back to my story - I decided to walk through the unplowed snow to the closest corner store to buy a jar of pickles.  This "Dairy Mart" was a 1 mile away (2 miles total - there and back).  I was confident that they would be open because they were located on a main road that connected to my unplowed subdivision roads.
I also decided to take my "boyfriend's" (who is now my husband) dog along for the walk.  The dog's name was "Buster Shombilina" - he was part Collie and part Golden Retriever (the picture above is my current Canine baby - I just don't have a good picture of Buster since that was before digital cameras).

As we started walking I realized how difficult this was going to be.  I had to plod through the 5 different layers of snow with each step.  I first had to break through the 1/2 inch rigid top snow crust, then through the dense Igloo type snow to the worst slippery slush at the bottom.  When I thought I had good footing on the road the slush would make my foot slide into the upper crust jabbing my shin - by the end of the walk my shins felt like I had just played field hockey.  Then, even worse was lifting my foot up out of the snow to take the next step.  Therefore removing a 16 inch chunk of the upper crust - alot like lifting weights with each step (snowshoes would have been ideal in this situation).  Let me tell you - half way to the corner store I was huffing and puffing and I was in the best "20 something" physical shape!  Occasionally Buster had to stop to chew off the snowballs that had collected on the bottom of his paws but overall he seemed to have an easier time walking than I (I guess because he had "4 paw drive").  I finally reached the store, gasped out "Dill Pickles please", paid and left.  The walk home was somewhat of a blur but I do recall the return voyage being a little easier if I stepped into my previous pathway.
Needless to say - I did make "Hors D'Oeuvre from the 70's" that night and I have continued to make this wonderful treat every New Years Eve since.  My husband now refers to this incident as "The Great Pickle Walk of 1992".

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by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo WeeklyTitle_zps5l1xvjx6.jpg


  1. I love your story :) My dogs always seem to do better in the snow than I do also, it has to be because they have four paws! Thanks for stopping by my blog and following, following you back. I look forward to your future posts!

  2. What an ordeal! I'm glad they weren't out of pickles! Our walk this morning featuring the crusty kind of snow, not deep though. The wind out on the bike path was really strong. Brrr! Alfie was fine, but my legs started to go numb!

    1. I'm glad also! - That would have made a sad ending to the story because I would NOT have walked an extra 5 miles to the next closest store (hahaha).
      I hope the blood flow is back in your legs ;-)

  3. I like your snow classifications ;)Thanks for linking up on the Photo Friday Blog hop...hope to see you next year!

  4. What a wonderful story and thank your husband for the it!
    Etsy Blog Team

  5. Too cute! Love your commitment to making sure you had pickles. Following from the blog hop!

  6. I love that photo. Thanks for stopping by my blog returned favour

  7. I love snow as well! However, we do not receive any where I live. Thanks for following! I am following back.

  8. Hi,
    Following from the blog hop...they must be some great pickles:)
    thanks for sharing!

  9. I have walked in that kind of snow and it's no fun! Better than being pickless though if it's a tradition. ;)


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