Friday, February 19, 2016

Pickle-Lily for #thebookclubcookbookCC

Here we are at February's #thebookclubcookbookCC event. It's hard to believe that we only have five more months in this year-long journey to explore - and cook from - The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp.*

Judy, Vicki, and their publisher, Tarcher-Penguin, have provided the hosting bloggers with copies of the book plus copies to giveaway each month of the project. Woohoo. Incredibly generous.

This month Ashley at Cheesecurd in Paradise has selected The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara.** Click to read Ashley's invitation. She shared the recipe for Civil War Cherry Apple Cobbler with Sweet Vanilla Custard.

On the Page...
I remember reading this book in AP U.S. History in 11th grade. Winner of a Pulitzer Prize, this historical novel The Killer Angels has been touted as an incredible recreation of the battle of Gettyburg as well as providing insightful commentary on what the war was about and what it meant. But, since 11th grade was a loooooooong, looooooong time ago, I dug it out of a box of books and read it again this month. No, I don't have a ton of books from high school, but given that I have a degree in U.S. History, I did squirrel away those books!

I do love reading historical fiction, so I would probably enjoy this novel regardless. But I thoroughly enjoyed that each chapter is penned from the perspective of a different leader, both in the Union and the Confederacy. I found James Longstreet's narrative poignant as he reels from the deaths of 3 of his 4 children in a single week. And, as Robert E. Lee's right hand man, Longstreet is tormented that Lee ignores his counsel that a frontal attack will be disastrous. He was correct, of course!

I also gained an appreciation for Joshua Chamberlain who was a college professor, not a trained soldier. But it's clear he was a natural leader; at the onset of the Civil War, he holds the rank of lieutenant colonel and finishes the war as a brigadier general. His leadership and heroics on Little Round Top likely saved the Union.

On the Plate...

While the Civil War Cherry Apple Cobbler with Sweet Vanilla Custard sounded delicious, given that my husband is currently gluten-free and trying to cut back on his sugar intake, I decided to look for a Civil War era recipe that was savory and gluten-free instead. I found a recipe for pickle-lilly. I also found it spelled piccalilli. In any case, pickle-lilly is a pickling solution stored in a cask or jar. And, throughout the season, different vegetables are dropped in there, pickled, eaten, and then new vegetables are dropped into the same spiced brine. Sounds very efficient!


  • enough vegetables to fill a quart jar (I used squash, carrots, onions, beets, and turnips)
  • 1 C apple cider vinegar
  • 1 C water
  • 4 garlic cloves, peel and crushed
  • 4 t salt
  • 1/2 t red pepper flakes
  • 2 t dill seed
  • 1 t black peppercorns
  • fresh dill weed

Wash your vegetables and cut them into whatever size you wish. Blanch the vegetables and drain. Once they are cool enough to handle, pack them into your jar. You don't want to damage the vegetables, but you do want them packed tightly.

In a medium pan, combine vinegar, water, garlic, salt, red pepper, dill seed, and peppercorns. Bring to a simmer.

Carefully pour the brine into the jar, leaving approximately ½ inch of space. Tap jar to dislodge any trapped bubbles.

Tighten the lid, finger tight, and let the jar cool to room temperature. Once it's cooled, place jar in the refrigerator. Let pickle-lilly stand for, at least, 48 hours before eating. Enjoy!!

This month Ashley at Cheese Curd in Paradise, this month's host, is giving away a copy of the book.* Enter to win a copy of the cookbook so you can join us in future months, if you wish!

One of our lucky readers - US and Canada only! - can enter to win a copy ofThe Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp, courtesy of Tarcher-Penguin. Giveaway runs from February 1st till February 29th at 6 o'clock PM, Pacific time. Please see terms and conditions in the rafflecopter widget below. Many thanks to Tarcher Books. You may find Tarcher: on the web, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Pinterest.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
*Disclosure: Ashley received a complimentary copy of The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp as an opportunity to give a copy away. Opinions are our own. We received no further compensation for our posts.

**This blog currently has a partnership with in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to and search for the item of your choice.


  1. I have heard of piccalilli, I thought it was more of a relish. This pickle lily does sound very efficient which was so important during this time period.

    1. Maybe it is! The recipe I found didn't include any instructions or measurements. So I was winging it!

  2. I like historical novels. Even if they are fictionalized I feel like I'm learning something.


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