The odd time people send me things. Sometimes the things people send me are odd. When I was on television a woman used to send me feathers that fell out of her parrot. I’m not sure if it was because she thought I was a parrot lover, or a parrot hater, or that I needed a little ornamentation myself.
Last summer reader Milton sent me a package of goods native to his hometown in Mississippi, which as any Canadian will tell you, seems as foreign and magical a place as Mars.
In that package that contained everything from olive oil to ridiculously delicious desserts, there was a jar of Wickles. Wickedly delicous pickles. Also hot. Wickedly, deliciously hot, pickles. They’re sweet pickles, like a bread and butter pickle, that are also, just for fun, blindingly hot.
You can’t get Wickles in Canada. At all. Anywhere. I know this because I’ve searched. You can get ones that are similar, but they aren’t quite sweet enough, or the pickles are a bit mushy or they’re just plain wrong for whatever reason. They’re je ne sais blah.
So I took it upon myself to figure out how to make Wickles. Luckily for me (and you) it’s easy.
You can either make them from scratch using my Bread & Butter pickles recipe, or you can just use this little trick with a jar of store bought sweet pickles.
Ready for your list of incredibly detailed instructions? Do you have a pen? A piece of paper? Maybe an abacus? Here we go.
To turn sweet pickles into hot and sweet pickles:
Add a dried hot pepper to the jar.
Seriously. That’s it. They’re not just Wickles, they’re Quickles.
Just take a dried hot pepper (you can find these in the grocery store), split it in half and add both halves to the jar of pickles. Shove it in there. Seeds and all.
I like 2 hot peppers, split in half, in 500 ml jar of pickles. That’s a pint for you non ml folks. They’re just hot enough to make me cry out in pain a little bit but not so hot that I can stop myself from eating them.
But one full hot pepper might be TOO hot for you. Or it might not be hot enough. Or, it might be baby bear’s bed and you’ll think it’s just right. You just have to play around and see what you like best.
I’d say start with 1 hot pepper sliced in half in the jar and go from there.
These pickles need to steep for around 2 weeks for the heat to infuse them so if you want to serve them for Christmas for instance, you should think about making them now. And by “making them” I mean you need to start thinking about sticking a pepper in a jar. Yeah. Oops, there is the incredibly difficult and important step of cutting the pepper in half as well.
And I encourage you to serve these for any family get together. I also encourage you not to warn people that these are hot pickles because it’s more fun that way. And therefore, now that I’ve given it more thought, I encourage you to go the three hot pepper route.
I do not encourage you to send me parrot feathers.