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I went to Pickle Day in the Lower East Side last Sunday like I do every year. It's the best-smelling food festival we have. It smells like one million pickles. And as long as you hydrate really well afterwards, it's a hell of a good time. First hack of the day: bring a flask of whiskey and play a competitive pickleback-themed game with your friends. Secondary important thing: don't leave without a container of pickled okra. You won't think you'll want it after like, 12 pickles and a bunch of whiskey, but when you wake up, you will.

Okay, here are some other pickle stories I've told over the years that don't reveal too much about my weekend relaxation techniques:

By the way, that photo of pickled jalapeños and tequila (see: intro story) was from the how to make taco meat shoot with tailgating chow cook extraordinaire Paul Harrison. We were celebrating Dia de los Pepinillos. And now, bookend-style, the second hack: toss chopped pickled jalapeños (homemade like in that taco meat recipe, not the soggy crap in the jar) or better yet, peperoncini (the stuff in the jar is actually great) with your favorite potato salad to make it instantly crack-addictive. I bring it up only because I did this all summer and recently couldn't figure out why potato salad without it sucked. It's not that it sucked, it's that you can't go back.

More crunch in your lunch on Food Republic: