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Making Koolickles

Monday, May 12, 2008

Tammy in Cuba, Alabama and I have been talking about Koolickles.

I had my first one at a Double Quick in Clarksdale, Mississippi back in November of 2006. It's somehow become one of the most popular pics in my Flickr photostream (it's #4 with 5000+ views, behind this wedding cake with 8000+, a Katrina sign with 6500+, and the Bryant store).

Koolickle - a Kool-Aid Pickle.  A Delta Specialty.
They've been written about in the NY Times and USA Today, but I had never made a batch, and once Tammy and I started talking about them, I figured it was time to finally make some.

I wanted to make them the traditional way (with regular dill pickles) and I also came up with an idea to try to make them completely different - using bread and butter pickles. My thinking was that since bread & butters are already sweet, the addition of Kool-Aid would only make them sweeter and maybe even yummier. Well...

I used the same method for both batches. I drained off the pickle juice into a colander, threw away any of the big spices or garlic pieces that got caught in the colander, then added sugar and Kool-Aid to the pickle juice.

The regular dills had about 2 cups of juice inside, so I used two Kool-Aid packets of cherry flavor and added the sugar for those batches. The bread and butter pickles had only about 1 cup of pickle juice, so to that I added one packet of cherry K-A and one packet's amount of sugar that's suggested.

Is it sounding yucky yet? Pickle juice and Kool-Aid is probably not something you automatically think of tasting good together.

This is what the dills looked like on the first day:

Each day for the past week, I've taken one pickle out and tested it for taste and color, etc. I think that they are ready right at one week. A strange thing happens - after about the third or fourth day, the pickles start to look like they are shrinking. The Kool-Aid color starts getting further and further into the 'meat' of the pickle, too. At one week, you can really taste the Kool-Aid flavor and it's a Koolickle:
Now, they're really not for everybody. Some people *really* like them and there are a lot of people who really-really do not. I can go either way. I think I'm just as happy with a regular pickle (Av is a pickle snob and will only eat Claussen or Wickles, but I'm not and think best ones are served at high school football games - taken out of those huge jars with a pair of tongs and put in a pocket of foil). But anyway...

...those bread and butter pickles turned out great! They're sweet and cherry-flavored and actually very nice! The only thing is, what's the best way to serve them? They'll need to be drained pretty well because cherry Kool-Aid will stain just about anything.
Would deviled eggs with tiny cubed pieces of b&b Koolikle (like relish) taste good or not? Not sure. But just straight out of the jar - one or two of them - yum.

The Wickles pickles that I mentioned above - they were created by a couple of brothers in Dadeville, Alabama that we visited with once (they're super-nice). They started a line of pickles that are sweet and hot...sooooo good.

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