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My sister-in-law Molly Allan is a nurse in Baltimore whose work takes her into emergency rooms. Her day-to-day labors are often not pretty, and we’ve learned to stop asking her questions over dinner.

But Molly is a tougher soul than many of us. She just returned from Haiti after spending a week there as part of a rotating University of Maryland shock/trauma unit. Of course, she must have read the CDC’s lengthy guidance document designed to keep relief workers safe. (Personally, I’m not sure who would travel to Haiti after reading it.)

Her diet for the week was simple stuff: typically beans and rice with fried (but not battered) chicken. But no matter what they were served, Molly says the workers’ meals always came with a spicy and pickled salad called “picklese,” which looks like Haiti’s version of El Salvador’s curtido, the pupusa accompaniment.

Picklese, e-mails Molly, was “the only salad-type food we could safely eat because of the spice/vinegar.” She’s not kidding about the heat; the cabbage salad is prepared with scotch bonnets.

Molly forwarded a recipe, presumably for those who want to make the scotch bonnet-laced salad at home. All two of you.

Photo by Molly Allan

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