“I’m writing at the suggestion of John Edge. He is working on a tasting seminar that will be part of the Fancy Food Show education program this Summer and we would like to invite you to participate as well. The panel is called REVIVING THE RELISH TRAY and it will take place Sunday July 10 from 8am to 9:45. ………….. We envision this session as a guided tasting of what is hot and new in the world of pickling…….. As you are in Athens, we would pay for your travel to DC as well as 2 nights of comp hotel in DC. You would also receive a complimentary badge to the trade show floor for yourself and two others……….”
And to answer this email I received in January 2011…..I said YES!
If you’ve known me for any time at all…and especially if you were in school with me…you’d know that I DO NOT SPEAK IN FRONT OF LARGE CROWDS! In middle and high school…I’d write a splendid book report and then take a zero on the oral part because I just couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t. So…this was a really big, exciting, SCAREY opportunity for me. Not to mention….John T. Edge is someone I really wanna impress. I mean…hello…Southern Foodways Alliance, Oxford American, Garden and Gun Magazine, Several books about people kinda like me…from the south….doing food the way it oughta be done. So….I had about 5 and a half months to stress about it! I lost a lot of sleep….
So…the day finally came…..
There were folks at Clyde’s that were in D.C. for the Fancy Food Show….and after making them promise me they wouldn’t attend my portion of the education series….to see me ‘make a fool of myself,’ we made our way back to the hotel…. I set my alarm for 5am, slid my mask over my eyes, and I slept…
And guess what? There was absolutely nothing for me to be afraid of! I didn’t have to stand up alone in front of everyone… I just had to talk. And talking I can do! James Beard Award winner, Ann Cashion talked about her pickled sour cherries and her pickled taco relish…both unbelievable! And Noel Garrett talked about his food production business, ‘Low Country Produce,’ and I talked about my favorite chow chow from Blackberry Farm and our best seller…the Okies. John Edge talked about Miss Jenny’s Salt & Pepper pickles and Alecia’s Tomato Chutney. I also got to talk about how I started Phickles….where the name Phickles comes from….the why behind Phickles….and where I hope Phickles is headed. And…my two favorite parts of the whole speaking part are:
John T. Edge introduced me as ‘the girl traveling the south with a fanny pack full of pickles’ and secondly….Jess, his son was lying on the floor under the table during the whole thing…right at my feet. Oh yes, we’re like family now. Hehe! All I gotta do now is learn a few french words…. And in case y’all are wondering if we were able to ‘revive the relish tray…’ Well, it never ended in the south. We grew up on pickles…. Pickles are still in our fridges and on our plates…. & Pickles are our future. Oh wait! PHICKLES ARE OUR PHUTURE! 😉
double you double you double you dot PHICKLES dot com to order the best pickles in the south! “If it ain’t fun…..don’t do it!”