Pickles and Ice Cream: A Bizarre Pregnancy Cravings Cookbook

THIRD TRIMESTER

DESSERT

When your belly is already huge, but you aren’t quite done yet. That is the third trimester. Or dessert time. Or both. In this chapter a few surprise ingredients turn all types of classic desserts on their head.

Discover the smoothie of your nightmares, the first dessert with shrimp in it, and one of the world’s best-kept secrets: that you don’t have to be pregnant to enjoy Pickles and Ice Cream. In fact, you don’t even have to be hungry.

TOOTHPASTE WITH OREOS

Flavia, Goiânia, Goiás, Brazil

SERVES 0—THERE IS A REASON YOU ALWAYS SPIT TOOTHPASTE OUT. PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU CONTINUE THAT HABIT HERE.

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The only thing better than chocolate and mint together is having a cookie that brushes your teeth for you.

INGREDIENTS

3 Oreos

1 tube of toothpaste

METHOD

Twist the Oreos to separate them.

Put a generous layer of toothpaste on top of the filling and then put the Oreo back together.

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TOOTHPASTE WITH OREOS

FLAVIA, GOIÂNIA, GOIÁS, BRAZIL

I was already seven months pregnant when I discovered this wonder, so I only had it about four or five times. It was actually really tasty and I even had a favorite brand of toothpaste. I got the idea when I saw my cousin eating an Oreo with whipped cream, which reminded me a lot of toothpaste. The thought seemed a bit crazy, though, so I tried to just forget about it. But then, three days later, I was at home, bored and dying of heartburn and just couldn’t resist. When I tried it: poof! My heartburn went away as if by magic.

THE ONLY ONE WHO CAUGHT ME EATING IT WAS MY MOTHER. BUT SHE DIDN’T JUDGE ME BECAUSE SHE HAD EATEN A LOT OF LIQUID SOAP DURING HER PREGNANCY. She tasted the Toothpaste Oreos, too, but she hated them. I tried it again about nine months after I gave birth. But when I wasn’t pregnant it was horrible.

My kids actually love Oreos. And toothpaste, too. They ask me to brush their teeth all the time. But they never tried the two together—at least not to my knowledge.

ICE CREAM AND CHILE SAUCE

Eunice, Roseburg, Oregon, USA

SERVES 1

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Horrible.

INGREDIENTS

2 scoops of ice cream

Sweet chile sauce / hot sauce

METHOD

Scoop ice cream into a dish.

Pour the chile sauce over it.

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BEAN AND CREAM DREAM

Sandra, Zürich, Switzerland

SERVES 1

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Try it. Shrug. Continue with your life.

INGREDIENTS

1 teaspoon salt

2 ounces / 50 g green beans

1 tablespoon butter

1 can whipped cream

METHOD

Fill a saucepan with water, add the salt, and bring to a boil.

Blanch the beans for about 4 minutes, then remove the saucepan from the heat and drain.

Sauté the beans in melted butter over medium heat.

Spray whipped cream onto a plate in the most artistic shape you are capable of and arrange the beans around it. Eat as you would chips and dip.

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SHRIMP WITH WHITE CHOCOLATE

Donna, Midwest City, Oklahoma, USA

SERVES 1

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Sweet and shrimpy fight to the death—possibly yours.

INGREDIENTS

2 ounces / Approx. 60 g white chocolate

2 ounces / Approx 60 g cooked, shelled, and deveined shrimp

METHOD

Melt half the white chocolate over boiling water in a metal bowl or heatproof glass bowl. Make sure the bowl is not touching the water.

Dip each shrimp halfway into the chocolate and then refrigerate for an hour.

You may also want to make some white chocolate drops for decoration.

When the chocolate is hard, serve on a plate.

Garnish with shavings of the remaining white chocolate.

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PROFITEROLES AND OLIVES

Andreea, London, England

SERVES 1

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Depending on how much olive you have, it can give the profiterole an interesting salty edge or karate chop the flavor into oblivion.

INGREDIENTS

⅓ cup / 78 ml water

2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons butter

Pinch of salt

⅓ cup / 40 g all-purpose flour

1 egg

⅓ cup / 78 ml heavy cream

1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar

3 ounces / 85 g chocolate

6 green olives, roughly chopped

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 425°F / 220°C.

Boil the water, butter, and salt in a pan.

Remove the pan from the heat and sift in the flour, stirring continuously and vigorously until the mixture is smooth. Mix in the eggs when the mixture is cool.

On a baking tray lined with baking paper, arrange 1-inch / 2½-cm circles of the mixture.

Bake for 20–25 minutes or until puffed up and golden brown.

Allow the pastries to cool.

Beat the cream and sugar together until the cream forms soft peaks.

Poke a small hole in the bottom of the pastries and pipe the whipped cream inside.

Melt the chocolate in a heat-proof glass bowl over boiling water.

As soon as the chocolate is melted, pour over the pastries.

Sprinkle the olives over the profiteroles.

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BEEF JERKY AND SKITTLES

Monica, Fort Worth, Texas, USA

SERVES 1

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Since they are both chewy it just tastes like beef jerky with an extra, secret seasoning. Except it’s not a secret. It’s Skittles. Spread the word.

INGREDIENTS

5 purple Skittles

5 green Skittles

5 yellow Skittles

5 orange Skittles

5 red Skittles

½ ounce / 15 g beef jerky

METHOD

Arrange the Skittles in lines of color like a rainbow.

Place the beef jerky next to it.

Make sure to eat one or two Skittles with every piece of jerky.

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WAFFLES WITH MUSTARD AND BRUSSELS SPROUTS

Michele, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, USA

SERVES 1

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If you love Brussels sprouts, you might be able to appreciate this as a slightly offbeat waffle topping. If not, it’s future vomit.

INGREDIENTS

1 egg

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons sugar

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

¾ cup / 180 ml milk

¼ cup / 60 ml sunflower oil

4 Brussels sprouts

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon mustard

METHOD

Heat up the waffle iron.

Beat the egg until light and fluffy.

Add the flour, sugar, vanilla extract, salt, milk, and oil and beat well.

Pour the mixture into the waffle iron (this recipe makes two waffles)

Cook until golden brown and crispy (4–5 minutes).

While you are cooking the waffles, bring a pot of water to a boil.

Add the Brussels sprouts and cook for 5–10 minutes until tender.

Remove the pot from the heat and drain.

Serve the waffles on a plate with the mustard and Brussels sprouts on top.

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MASHED POTATO WITH CARAMEL SAUCE

Thalia, Johannesburg, South Africa

SERVES 1

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Not quite as tasty as mashed potato without caramel sauce or caramel sauce without mashed potato, but still strangely more-ish.

SAUCE

1 cup brown sugar

3 tablespoons water

4 tablespoons butter

½ cup / 120 ml double cream

POTATOES

1 teaspoon salt

2 medium potatoes

1 tablespoon butter

¼ cup / 60 ml milk

METHOD

Make the caramel sauce first by putting the sugar and water in a large pan over low-medium heat. Stir until all the sugar has dissolved. Turn up the heat until it boils, stirring all the while. After a few minutes, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter and cream. Leave the sauce to cool a little while you make the potatoes.

Boil a pot of water and add the salt.

Peel the potatoes and cut them into quarters.

Boil the potatoes for about 15 minutes.

Drain.

Add the butter and milk and mash until smooth.

Add salt to taste.

Serve on a plate, pour the sauce on top, and enjoy.

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BUTTERED WATERMELON

Sarah, Toronto, Canada

SERVES 1

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The butter takes the delicate freshness of the watermelon to new heights… and then pushes it off them, completely annihilating any trace of it.

INGREDIENTS

¼ seedless watermelon

⅓ pound / 150 g butter

METHOD

Cut the watermelon into slices.

Remove the rind.

Cut the slices into pretentious, bite-size squares and spread evenly with a generous layer of butter on top.

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STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM AND KETCHUP

Remy, Washington DC, USA

SERVES 1

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Ketchup is a rather unwelcome element. Kind of like when you put on your shoe without realizing there’s a cockroach inside.

INGREDIENTS

Ketchup

Strawberry ice cream

METHOD

Put some ketchup on a scoop of strawberry ice cream.

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CHOC-OLIVE CAKE

Angela, Catalão, Goiás, Brazil

SERVES 1… TWELVE TIMES OVER.

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The perfect birthday cake for your enemies.

INGREDIENTS

½ cup / 120 g butter

1 cup milk

3 ounces / 90 g of cocoa

3 eggs

1 pound 2 ounces / 500 g white sugar

1 pound 2 ounces / 500 g all-purpose flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 ounces / 120 g pitted green olives, roughly chopped

ICING

1 pound 14 ounces / 400 g confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons boiling water

4 tablespoons cocoa powder

6 tablespoons butter

20 pitted green olives

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C.

Melt the butter and milk in a saucepan, then add the cocoa and bring the mixture to a boil stirring constantly to avoid lumps.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and leave to cool.

Beat the eggs and sugar in a bowl until the mixture becomes a creamy color.

Add the cocoa mixture from the saucepan along with the flour, baking powder, and vanilla extract to the egg mixture and beat for 1 minute. Stir in the chopped olives.

Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and the cakes from the pans and then leave them to cool.

Begin making the icing by sifting the sugar into a bowl. Add the water to the cocoa powder to make a thick paste. Beat the paste, butter, and sugar together.

Frost one of the cooled cakes then place the other cake on top. Cover the top and sides of the cake with the rest of the icing. Use the green olives as decoration.

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SPONGE

Melanie, Salisbury, Wiltshire, England

SERVES 0—PLEASE DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME. IN THE SHOWER, THE BATH, THE KITCHEN, OR ANYWHERE FOR THAT MATTER.

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The flavor is a bit like the Loch Ness Monster. Or your left sock. No matter how long or hard you search, you still can’t seem to find it.

INGREDIENTS

1 sponge

1 tablespoon water

1 drop liquid soap

1 bowl lukewarm water, for dipping

METHOD

Place the sponge on the plate.

Beat the drop of soap with the tablespoon of water until it has the appearance of whipped cream.

Arrange the beaten soap in a swirl on top of the sponge.

Serve with the bowl of water.

Dip the sponge in a bowl of water and chew on it.

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SPONGE

MELANIE, SALISBURY, WILTSHIRE, ENGLAND

I don’t even really know how I got the idea to eat it. I was about six months pregnant and sitting in a (quite important and tense) work meeting, when suddenly I had an overwhelming urge to chew on a sponge. Not to eat it, as such, but just to chew it. The urge didn’t go away for the rest of that day and I actually was worried it could have been a sign of a deficiency—the midwife recommended some blood tests to be sure, but there was nothing wrong—it was just a very weird pregnancy craving!

I had it every evening, in the bath. It was the highlight of my day! It got so bad though that at eight months pregnant I went away for three nights on a work trip and took my bath sponge with me—on the first night I WAS CHEWING ON IT IN THE SHOWER AND REALIZED IT WAS NEARLY FALLING APART AND NEEDED REPLACING, BUT I WASN’T GOING TO BE ABLE TO GET TO A SHOP UNTIL THE END OF THE WORK TRIP—I WAS SO STRESSED OUT BY IT! That’s when I realized the difference between a real pregnancy craving and a ‘normal’ desire to eat something because you’re pregnant and your body feels weird.

For a few days after my son was born it still tasted good, but then it was suddenly repulsive. I guess it must have been hormonal.

LICORICE AND SALAMI

Debbie, Athens, Greece

SERVES 1

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Flavors that can tolerate each other, but just barely. Like your family over the holiday season.

INGREDIENTS

2–6 slices of salami

15–20 pieces of licorice

METHOD

Make salami flowers by folding the salami and securing it in place with a toothpick.

Arrange the licorice pieces on a plate.

Eat together.

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BRUSSELS SPROUT BLANCMANGE

Laura, Bridgend, South Wales, Wales

SERVES 1

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At least the pudding kills the taste of the Brussels sprouts somewhat.

INGREDIENTS

¼ teaspoon plain gelatin

2 teaspoons cold water

4 Brussels sprouts

Green food coloring

½ cup / 120 ml milk

¾ tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon sugar

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

METHOD

Soften the gelatin in the cold water and set aside.

Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the Brussels sprouts until tender. This should take 5–10 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat and drain, then rinse the sprouts under cold water to cool and pat dry.

Carefully remove the leaves from one of the Brussels sprouts. Keep the five best leaves for the top of the pudding and reserve the rest.

Add a little green food coloring to the gelatin, then pour half into the bottom of a mold.

Arrange your five Brussels sprout leaves carefully in an attractive pattern. Pour the rest of the gelatin in and leave to chill for about an hour or until set.

Mix half the milk with the cornstarch and sugar in a bowl.

Bring the other half of the milk to a boil with the reserved leaves of the Brussels sprout in it for extra flavor.

Strain the liquid to remove the leaves.

Slowly add the hot milk to the cold milk mixture, a little at a time, stirring constantly.

Cook on low heat for about 15 minutes stirring constantly.

Remove from the heat and add the vanilla extract.

Pour into the mold on top of the gelatin and chill overnight.

Remove from the mold and place one of the cooked Brussels sprouts on top.

Pull apart the leaves somewhat to create the appearance of a flower.

Serve.

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BRUSSELS SPROUT BLANCMANGE

LAURA, BRIDGEND, SOUTH WALES, WALES

I THOUGHT THAT BRUSSELS SPROUTS AND BLANCMANGE TOGETHER WAS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. I HAD IT AT LEAST ONCE A DAY. MY LITTLE ONE NOW HAS THE NICKNAME OF SPROUT.

ORANGE SLICES WITH TOMATO SAUCE GLAZE

Lindsay, Johannesburg, South Africa

SERVES 1

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The true evil in this dish is that it catches you unaware. Who doesn’t like oranges? Who doesn’t like ketchup? What harm could there be in putting them together? Why have I lost the will to live?

INGREDIENTS

1 orange

Ketchup

2 teaspoons orange zest, for garnish

METHOD

Cut the orange in half, then cut each half into six equal-size wedges.

Serve arranged on a plate covered in ketchup.

Sprinkle the orange zest on top as garnish.

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ORANGE SLICES WITH TOMATO SAUCE GLAZE

LINDSAY, JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA

I had been obsessed with oranges since the start of my pregnancy, so when I invited my family over for dinner there was no question that oranges would be part of the menu. Orange sorbet, beautifully served in hollowed out orange peel “bowls” took my fancy. While carefully scraping the orange segments out of the skin I would pop a piece into my mouth every now and then.

Working steadily through the oranges, I suddenly felt that their natural flavor could be improved somehow. After some trial and error with salt, pepper, and sugar, on a whim I decided to try tomato sauce. It was a winner! Confident that I had discovered a sensational combo, that evening I URGED MY GUESTS TO TRY IT… THEY STILL ACCUSE ME OF TRYING TO POISON THEM TO THIS DAY.

ICE CREAM, CHIPS, AND BEEF STICKS

Sandy, New York, USA

SERVES 1

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The chips give it a salty crunch. The ice cream makes a cool, creamy base. The beef sticks are a bit overpowering, but they aren’t necessarily a flavor clash. It’s one of those things that sounds like it shouldn’t work, but it does. Like a duck-billed platypus.

INGREDIENTS

Handful of plain salted potato chips

1 scoop of chocolate ice cream

½ beef stick, sliced

METHOD

Make a bed of chips on the plate, reserving one.

Place the scoop of ice cream on top.

Stick the remaining chip into the ice cream like a wafer.

Sprinkle the dish with beef stick slices.

Serve.

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HOT DOG AND PICKLE SMOOTHIE

Shivawn, Chicago, USA

SERVES 1

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It takes a moment before you feel it, but then it hits you right in the stomach and you find yourself curled up on the floor whimpering. In short, if you don’t have testicles, this is your opportunity to find out what it is like to be kicked in them.

INGREDIENTS

1 hot dog bun

1 large pickle, sliced

1 hot dog, roughly chopped, with 2 neat slices reserved for garnish

Mustard

Relish

4 ice cubes

2 shots espresso

½ cup / 120 ml milk

4 tablespoons caramel sauce

Handful of whole coffee beans, for garnish

4 slices of cornichon, for garnish

METHOD

In a food processor, blend the hot dog bun until it is smoothly crumbed.

Reserve some pickle and hot dog slices for garnish

Add the rest of the nongarnish ingredients and blend well.

Pour into a glass, add garnish, and enjoy.

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HOT DOG AND PICKLE SMOOTHIE

SHIVAWN, CHICAGO, USA

I started eating it before I even took a pregnancy test. THE FIRST TIME I TRIED IT MY HUSBAND LOOKED AT ME AND SAID, “YEAH, YOU’RE PREGNANT.” When I first tasted it, I thought, “This is a little weird, but good!”… the tanginess of the mustard and relish mixing with the salty pickle and sweet coffee drink, I was instantly hooked. I was craving sweet/salty/tangy and it hit the spot. Guess you could say it’s my version of pickles and ice cream… with a hot dog to help fill me up.

SOUR RADISH PATCH

Shannon, Pepin, Wisconsin, USA

SERVES 1

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The radishes add a pleasant crunch but an unpleasant vegetable-y aftertaste. You can almost hear the Sour Patch Kids saying “Moooom, do we have to?”

INGREDIENTS

2 radishes

8–15 Sour Patch Kids / sour candy

METHOD

Wash the radishes well.

Slice them thinly, about A/aj inch / 3 mm thick.

Place the sour candy on top.

When eating, wrap each candy in a slice or two of radish like you are giving each Sour Patch Kid a blanket and tucking it in.

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OLIVES AND STRAWBERRY SALAD

Amanda, São Paulo, Brazil

SERVES 1

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Nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope

INGREDIENTS

2 ounces / 55 g strawberries

2 ounces / 55 g pitted green olives

METHOD

Wash the strawberries and slice.

Put them in a bowl, add the olives, and toss until they are mixed well.

Serve.

Question your life choices.

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BANANAS WITH HOT DOG CHILI

Bella, Cleveland, Ohio, USA

SERVES 2—YOU ARE GOING TO WANT A SECOND HELPING

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Your alarm clock doesn’t go off and you are late for work. On a day there is a meeting with your boss. For your yearly review. It goes badly. Very badly. “Pack-your-stuff-and-be-out-by-the-end-of-the-day” badly. On the way out, you accidentally step in a giant mud puddle ruining your favorite shoes… just as a passing bird relieves itself on your head. When you finally get home, your key breaks off in the door. Four hours later, after emptying the contents of your wallet into the locksmith’s pocket, you have finally gained entry to your house. It is late at night before you realize that today was actually your birthday. But that’s OK. Nobody else remembered either. You go to the fridge and all you have left is a banana and some leftover hot dog chili. You eat them and that night you go to sleep happy, knowing the world really is a wonderful place.

INGREDIENTS

½ onion, finely chopped

2 tablespoons oil

1 clove of garlic

5 ounces / 150 g ground beef

Salt

Pepper

Pinch of chili powder

1 teaspoon paprika

¼ (14-ounce / 400-ml) can tomato puree

1 tablespoon ketchup

1 teaspoon sugar

2 bananas

Parsley, for garnish

METHOD

Fry the onion in the oil over medium heat until translucent.

Add the garlic and ground beef.

Make sure to continue breaking up the ground beef while it cooks so that it has a fine consistency.

Add the salt, pepper, chili powder, and paprika to the ground beef mixture.

Pour in the tomato puree and add the ketchup and sugar.

Simmer for 15 minutes on low heat.

Peel the bananas and slice lengthwise, then into bite-size pieces about 1½ inches (4 cm) long.

Put a dollop of hot dog chili on top of each banana square.

Garnish with a little fresh parsley and enjoy.

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BANANAS WITH HOT DOG CHILI

BELLA, CLEVELAND, OHIO, USA

I GOT THE IDEA WHEN MY HUSBAND WAS EATING A BANANA WHILE I WAS EATING HOT DOG CHILI. I WAS SO HUNGRY IT SOUNDED AMAZING. WHEN I TRIED IT I THOUGHT IT WAS THE GREATEST THING EVER. MY HUSBAND JUST HAD A LOOK OF “YUCK” ON HIS FACE.

POPSICLES AND MUSTARD

Laura, Liverpool, England

SERVES 1

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The effect on your tongue is to instantly form the word “Why?”

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons mustard

3 popsicles

METHOD

Make a stripe or bed of mustard on your plate.

Cut one popsicle into slices.

Arrange the popsicles and slices on the plate.

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POPSICLES AND MUSTARD

LAURA, LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND

I WAS OBSESSED WITH MUSTARD WHILST PREGNANT BUT ALSO HAD NINE MONTHS OF MORNING/NOON/NIGHT SICKNESS SO I HAD TO EAT LOLLY ICES TO ENSURE I HAD SOME FLUID INTAKE. MY LITTLE GIRL WAS BORN WITH BLONDE HAIR, WHICH THEN TURNED A VIBRANT RED ON HER SECOND DAY—I BLAME THE MUSTARD.

PICKLES AND ICE CREAM

Maria, Sturgis, Michigan, USA

SERVES 1

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This is so delicious we actually took a pregnancy test just to make sure neither of us was pregnant. Even the one with a penis.

INGREDIENTS

3 dill pickle spears

1 scoop of vanilla ice cream

Chocolate sauce

1 cornichon, for “spoon”

1 Maraschino cherry, for garnish

METHOD

Place the pickle spears parallel to each other on the plate.

Put the scoop of ice cream on top so that it is riding the pickle-spear skis.

Dribble the chocolate sauce over the ice cream.

Add the cornichon to use as a spoon and put the cherry on top.

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