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Pickled Limes and other childhood fascinations

February 23, 2011

The other night, LaurieWrites went on a twitter tear about pickled limes. Do you get the reference? I did, immediately, because I spent a great deal of time wondering what the heck pickled limes were when I was reading about Amy buying them in Little Women.

Amy spends all her money on pickled limes because they are the latest school fad. Every schoolgirl simply must have a supply of pickled limes. The more limes you have = the more popular you are.

Sounds pretty stupid, until you think back to elementary school.

For us, it was “raw jello.” For a period of time in third grade, you just weren’t cool unless you had some Jell-o powder in a ziplock in your pocket. You could stick a moistened finger in the powder and lick it off, leaving your finger a pleasing color of pink, purple or orange in the process.

I remember trying to persuade my mom to give me a box of Jell-o so I could be one of the cool kids, but that was Foolishness Up With Which She Would Not Put. Why would you give your kid a whole box of gelatin so she could stick her finger in it, when you could turn that same box into cool, wiggly dessert for the whole family?

Thus began my long career of uncoolness. I can trace it all back to a lack of Jell-o. (And in retaliation, I will not eat Jell-o to this day).

I also remember a time when the must-have was fiery hot cinnamon toothpicks, which could only be bought from one scary liquor store run by a very wrinkly, grizzled old guy who reeked of cigarette smoke.

So what was it for you? Pickled limes, or something else?

Deviled Egg Mold

  1. February 23, 2011 06:07

    plastic charm necklaces and jelly bracelets. There is a picture of my sister wearing a plastic charm necklace that weighs more than she does (I pity the fool!), jelly bracelets up to her armpits on both arms, and legwarmers. Heh heh. I should go dig that up and put it on my blog.

  2. February 23, 2011 07:46

    For me, it was pomegranates. The Jamaican girls used to bring them and I wanted to be like them, red fingers and all. Clearly I was ahead of my time, seeing as they are so popular now and all.

  3. February 23, 2011 08:32

    I’d forgotten about those toothpicks! Actually, I can’t remember anything anymore – so I also can’t remember any must have weird food-like products.

    • February 23, 2011 11:47

      I had forgotten all about it, but Laurie took me back…there was always some popular thing I felt like I was behind in finding out about.

  4. Lisa permalink
    February 23, 2011 10:10

    Mine was the big feathers attached to roach clips for your hair; oh and the barrettes that you wove ribbon through. And Cherokee wedge shoes.

    All of which are coming back. Ah, the circle of life 🙂

    • February 23, 2011 11:48

      Man, you were so fashionable! I would love to see pics.

  5. February 23, 2011 12:22

    Pet rocks when I was in 3rd grade or so. Then in jr. high or high school, it was key chains. One key, 10 or 12 key chains, all in a little purse shaped like a duffle bag. Whatever.

    • February 23, 2011 13:04

      Well, you don’t want to lose your keys LOL

  6. February 23, 2011 14:52

    In jr. high it was our ‘thing’ to make chocolate chip cookie dough and bring it to school in a ziplock. (Did we have ziplocks then? Maybe not. Some other kind of plastic bag then…) We would eat raw cookie dough out of our locker all day long. The funny thing is no one ever got sick or even thought about getting sick from the raw eggs. I’m guessing someone’s mother wouldn’t let them. I’d never thought about it in these terms before you mentioned it!

    • February 23, 2011 15:09

      Funny, I had the same thought about ziplocks. Maybe it was those “alligator” bags with a twist tie.

      It’s remarkable that no one ever got sick – but I think salmonella is more common now than it was.

  7. February 23, 2011 21:01

    those candy cigarettes that blew sugar smoke? Yep. loved those

    • February 23, 2011 21:06

      Those were in first grade. They gave them out as rewards for doing good stuff like cleaning up campus. WTF was up with that?

  8. annnoe permalink
    February 23, 2011 23:04

    I’d completely forgotten the cinnamon toothpicks, too. But the real thing was salditos–dried salted plums that you stuck in a lemon half and sucked on. Knock out your kidneys and your tooth enamel all in one go.

  9. lizgwiz permalink
    February 24, 2011 13:12

    I had a classmate whose parents had a little 10-stool lunch counter down the block from school, and she used to bring bags of the little limes they used for limeades. We all envied her. And sucked up to her. And after school, we trooped down the block to the restaurant, which also stocked a large variety of our favorite candies, and lined up to buy Cherry Zotz and Wacky Wafers, the coolest of which was the watermelon flavor.

  10. February 24, 2011 21:44

    Wow. I forgot about the cinnamon picks. Depending on where I lived … there was bags of boiled peanuts, tangerines and much, much later I remember hearing rumors about oranges injected with vodka. But those were only rumors.

    • February 27, 2011 19:13

      What is a boiled peanut? I have heard of them but have no clue.

  11. March 6, 2011 06:28

    I remember the cinnamon toothpicks, but I was never cool enough to have my own supply. For that matter, I was never cool enough to be in on any trend in school.

    • March 9, 2011 18:21

      I know, me neither. I always found about them a month too late.

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