Cooking Up a Business…
This Pickle Packer Is Happy to Be Second Best
Mickey Fluitt of Picayune, Mississippi claims his Mickle’s Pickles are “the second-best pickles on the planet”. “I thought I’d better reserve the top spot for people who remember the wonderful pickles their mother or grandmother used to make,” says Mickey (left).
The Former junior high math teacher had been making pickles for family and friends for quite some time, using an old Southern recipe.
“A few years ago, acting on a dare from some of my fellow teachers, I put up over 224 jars, set up a booth at the local street fair—and sold out before the day was over!” he recalls. Recently, he gave up teaching for full-time pickling and produces 150 jars a day.
Mickey draws crowds to sample his Original and “Not Hot” Jalapeno varieties with lighthearted lines such as “I don’t want you to buy my pickles. Just tell your friends how good they are.”
He describes the original flavor as a cross between a sweet and a dill. “The jalapeno variety has a little kick but won’t catch you on fire.” he assures. “We call them our ‘Sandwich Repair Kit’. They’ll make a dull sandwich taste good and a good sandwich better.”
Jar labels include tag lines like “We Stole the Recipe from Your Grandmother” and “Caution: May Be Habit Forming!” Mickey’s daughter Madeline, 15, helped him come up with 24 different clever lines.
Son Austin, 11, often helps his dad with the Mickle’s Pickles booth at wildlife shows and fairs, and wife Pam is the pleasant voice on the line handling phone orders.
Mickle’s Pickles cost $5.95 for a 12-ounce jar, $66 for a cast of 12 jars, plus shipping.
He Looks North to Bring Home the Bacon
Most Folks in U.S. have never tasted real Canadian bacon—and Ken Haviland is out to change that!
“Once people try this product—known in Canada as peameal bacon—they realize how different it is from the Canadian-style bacon sold in the States,” says Ken(left), president of the REAL Canadian Bacon Company in Troy, Michigan.
The high-quality USDA-approved product he imports from Canada is lean boneless pork loin that is pickle-cured and rolled in a golden cornmeal coating. “Because it is not smoked, genuine Canadian bacon has a fresh-pork flavor,” explains Ken, who grew up on a farm in Ontario. “The peameal name comes from the fact that, originally, dried yellow peas were ground into a meal and packed around the meat to help preserve it. When corn became more plentiful, processors switched grains, but the name stuck.”
When Ken moved to Michigan (he works as an automotive design engineer), he tried the Canadian-style bacon sold in the local supermarket. “I started asking if anybody had ever tasted real Canadian peameal bacon,” he recalls. “All I got were blank stares, and I knew I had to introduce it here.”
Ken offers REAL Canadian Bacon presliced or in 2-1/2- or 5-pound roasts and ships it frozen to customers. “It’s great for breakfast, on sandwiches, in salads and as a dinner entree,” he says.
One Day When I Was Cooking…
Kitchen bloopers like this one are sure to stir up some smiles.
I took a lovely gelatin salad to a potluck and set in on the table with the other foods. As we dished up, we all started whispering and laughing. Someone had brought a plastic bowl with a dried-up piece of roast and a potato, which naturally went untouched.
After we ate, everybody went to pick up their empty bowls, eager to see who would take the bowl with the leftovers. When I went to get my bowl, I realized the leftovers were mine! I’d grabbed the wrong container from the refrigerator.
I was so embarrassed, I left the bowl there. People still talk about the incident, but no one knows that bowl was mine… unless they read this, of course! –Lori Sanna, Chula Vista, California