Tag Archives: delicata squash

Cucumber madness

Mike and I are back from our California road trip vacation, which was

View from our driftwood shelter on Molera State Beach, CA

View from our driftwood shelter on Molera State Beach, CA

wonderful (see Travel Photos). Luckily while we were gone the weather in Oklahoma was cooler and moister than usual, so our garden is in pretty good shape. We’ve already done a lot of weeding and harvesting of sunflower seeds, cucumbers, eggplant, tomatoes, basil and oregano. Mike dried about 3 quarts of tomatoes yesterday in our dehydrator. We also need to clean up our garlic heads now that they’ve cured, and eat a lot of potatoes before they spoil.

So now it’s August, when backyard gardeners in the Mid-South  are flooded with produce, and at the same time need to start planting their fall garden.  This is a tricky proposition, as it could be too hot (and too dry or too wet) to get good germination on some seeds. There are also grasshoppers to contend with, and they can wipe out a bed of seedlings in one morning. I’m going to see if I can get a crop of Delicata squash before the first fall frost for our area – which could occur in the middle of October, or wait until the middle of December! I may also try some Contender bush beans and some fennel (I saved my seed). I will probably wait a week or two before planting bok choi and our winter greens.

hiddencukeWhen we got home Sunday Beca proudly showed us the large cucumber she had picked earlier in the morning. The next day Mike found four more hiding in the vines! Obviously it’s time to post some simple cucumber salad/relish/snacks for the extended Nelson clan.

Marinated cukes #1: A dish my maternal grandmother, raised in southern Oklahoma, served every day in the summer, along with sliced cantaloupe or watermelon. Mix all the ingredients together and set in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes. The longer they set, the more “pickled” they become, but I like them pretty crisp and crunchy.

  • Several peeled and (round) sliced cucumbers
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 thinly sliced onion (white, yellow, or red)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • a couple of ice cubes

Marinated cukes #2: These are similar to the previous recipe, but more like a bread-and-butter (sweet-sour) pickle. I think I may be the only one in our immediate family who likes bread-and-butter pickles?

  • Several peeled and (round) sliced cucumbers
  • 1 thinly sliced onion (white, yellow, or red)
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dill seed
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seed
  • 1/4 tsp parsley seed
  • a couple of ice cubes

Marinated cukes #3: This is a favorite of Mike and the kids.

  • Several peeled and (round) sliced cucumbers
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar (you can substitute cider vinegar)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

Marinated cukes #4: Spicier and good with fresh spring rolls.

  • Several peeled and sliced cucumbers
  • 1 thinly sliced onion (white or yellow)
  • 1/4 cup rice or cider vinegar
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1  to 2 tsp fish sauce (optional)
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 tsp freshly grated or minced ginger
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1  tsp garlic-chili paste or siracha hot sauce
  • Several minced leaves of Thai basil, cilantro, or mint

And of course cucumbers are excellent just sliced paper thin and placed in sandwiches.

Bonus recipes: As I was typing this out I thought about the watermelon sitting in our refrigerator. The rind of a watermelon is sort of like a cucumber, right? So couldn’t you make a fresh pickle or something out of it? HA! Here is a recipe from the Tuscon CSA! If you don’t have pomegranate syrup I bet you could substitute some other fruit juice/syrup/concentrate. And here is a watermelon rind relish recipe that would go great with anything grilled, curries, or on a sandwich. An interesting note – watermelon rind is a good source of citrulline, and you may recall hearing that watermelon is a “natural viagra.”

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