Saturday, July 2, 2011


I love cucumbers.  There is something wonderful about them and I never quite could figure out what it was I loved about them until I read The Red Tent by Anita Diamant.  Towards the end of the book the Dena moves to Egypt and she has cucumbers for the first time.  "But best of all were the cucumbers, the most delicious food I could imagine, green and sweet.  Even in the heat of the sun, a cucumber kissed the tongue with the cool of the moon. I could eat them endlessly without getting full or sick.  My mother would love this fruit, I thought the first time I bit into its watery heart."  Isn't that perfect? 

I can eat cucumbers right off the vine.  I can eat them with our without their skins (although my preference is without, especially for commercially grown cucumbers that tend to have tougher skins). Cool or room temperature.  It doesn't matter.  A cucumber sandwich is wonderful with just a very thin  swipe of mayonnaise and layered on white bread (although it is acceptable on wheat bread).  The less you do to the cucumber the more I like it. 

There are three main kinds of cucumbers: slicing, pickling and burpless.  I don't normally care for the flavor of a burpless and if you don't want to burp after eating cucumbers then don't eat the seeds.  But that's my favorite part.  Cucumbers have been grown as a crop for over three thousand years.  Someone had a good idea with that.  They are a fairly easy crop to grow unless you have squirrels who also think that cucumbers are tasty eats in which case you have to hover over your garden night and day with a threatening look on your face (not that my threatening look scares many squirrels much less my own children). 

If I have to do something to my cucumbers I do very little.  This is my favorite cucumber recipe:

Summer Cucumber Salad

4-5 regular cucumbers
2 t. dill weed (fresh is better, but then I always think that fresh is better)
1/2 c. sour cream

Wash, peel, quarter and slice the cucumbers.  Mix with the dill and sour cream.  Let it sit in the refrigerator for several hours.  (If you are going to a picnic or party, make it the previous day).  Serve.  It will serve about eight, but often times I have found people want this very difficult recipe.  Why?  Because it is so simple and fresh.

It's summer, so go eat a cucumber!

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