The other night we had an informal barbecue in the neighbor’s back yard. One of the kids had an electricity generating kit and a dad suggested they try to light up a pickle. Excuse me? After making sure there was nothing illegal going on we set about hunting for the largest dill pickle possible.
Pickle man excitedly ran back home to grab our pickle jar because I had made kosher-style dills with the largest of the garden cucumbers at the end of the season last year. Some of those jars had just a few pickles in each because they were so big!
He came back, primed with pickle and they eagerly set about putting the right wires in the right places, there was a dramatic moment when the electricity was turned on and then…nothing. They tried it again…nothing. And just as they were dejectedly putting away the tools of their scientific flop I suggested they get a commercial pickle.
A few minutes later someone appeared with a jar of unnamed dill pickles and they went about hooking up the new substitute pickle. Expecting nothing they milled around unexcitedly. The electricity was again turned on and the pickle did indeed come to life. It glowed and sparked like the fourth of July.
Commercial picklers use alum in order to achieve that classic “crunch”. That’s right, readers. Those were the sparks of metal rescued from the mouths of babes. Now who’s planning to make pickles from now on instead of buying them? Hopefully YOU.
note: On doing more research I read that this may work because of the salt levels and not just the metal factor. Either way I’m happy to be making a less toxic version of my oldest child’s favorite snack.