Tuesday, April 2, 2013

What The Heck Is A Persian Pickle?

That's what I asked when I picked up a used copy of Sandra Dallas' THE PERSIAN PICKLE CLUB. The book is set in Depression-era Kansas, and I soon learned that "Persian pickle" was what they called paisley.

The club members (or, as the narrator refers to herself and her friends,The Pickles) have a lot in common, of course, but they're also very different. They may not always agree, but they hold ranks if any one of them is attacked. They can keep secrets for each other -- and from each other.

I told my mother, I'm loving this book. The Depression was before my time, but I remember a lot of the ways and expressions, films, music and foods from the old folks and the old-fashioned in my childhood.

Ah, the foods! Listen to this description of Perfection Salad:

The perfection salad sat in the place of honor in the c enter of the table, the celery and carrots sparkling like five-and-dime jewels, and when I moved aside, a beam of sunshine shot through the window, causing the clear gelatin to shimmer. It was so pretty that Nettie drew in her breath, then threw her arms around Mrs. Judd. "Oh, Septima, I never saw a thing as lovely as that."

Makes you ashamed of ever going, "Ho-hum, not boring old thing again."

To read more about THE PERSIAN PICKLE CLUB, visit Sandra Dallas' web site. There's been some talk about making a movie. That seems to have fallen by the wayside, but the movie's web site has some very nice recipes and information.

Marian Allen
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes


Jean said...

I am a great book lover, and I certainly love food! I am not of the depression era either, but I have many stories from our family on both sides of what it was like. I also think that my grandparents continued to eat similar foods when I was growing up--it formed a base for my love of all kinds of foods for years and years!

Marian Allen said...

Exactly, Jean! I was raised by people who were marked by the Depression, so those years before my time were very much a part of my upbringing. I'm so glad you understand!