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Cucumbers, Cucumbers, Cucumbers!

Recipes for cucumber delights!

I don’t know why, but I have remarkable luck when it comes to growing cucumbers.  I grow them even better than zucchini, which are generally considered the easiest vegetables of all to grow.  But starting in early July, I can pick cucumbers on an almost daily basis.  Sometimes, I feel as if leprechauns visit my garden at night and hide baskets of cucumbers in my vines, because I’m always surprised in the morning when I see fully grown cucumbers nestled in there when I thought I picked them all the previous day. 

 So what to do with my good fortune?  Alas, I have (again!) not chosen a pickling variety, so that’s not an option.  (Next year, though.)  Cucumber tea sandwiches are always a fun and cool lunch.  I also love that sweet/sour Hungarian Cucumber Salad that I first had in 1984 when biking through Hungary on my way to Yugoslavia.   Plus, you can use the cucumber juices from that recipe to make a delightful, refreshing cocktail called a Cucumber Mint-tini.

Hungarian Cucumber Salad

Ingredients:

2 large cucumbers, peeled and very thinly sliced

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

¼ cup white vinegar

½ cup water

Pinch of garlic powder (optional)

Paprika

Pepper

Method:

1.   Place the cucumbers in a colander and let stand over a bowl for about hour with a plate and a heavy can on top.   (This helps squeeze out the juices, which you will save for for the cocktail below!)

2.  Combine the salt, pepper, sugar, vinegar, water and garlic powder with the cucumber and let marinate. 

3.    To serve, dust with paprika.

Serves 4

 

Cucumber Mint-tini.

Ingredients:

Juice of one cucumber (see above) or just use thinly sliced cucumber

Handful of fresh mint leaves, plus 1 sprig for garnish

2 lime wedges
2 sugar cubes
1 ounce simple syrup (one part sugar dissolved in one part water)
splash of fresh lime juice
1 1/2 ounces Vodka
splash of club soda

Method:

Muddle cucumber, mint leaves, 1 lime wedge, sugar cubes, simple syrup and lime juice. Add vodka and shake with ice. Strain all ingredients into a sugar-rimmed martini glass and top with club soda. Garnish with remaining lime wedge and mint sprig.

Makes one cocktail

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Dana Boulanger ; Support-A-Walk Ambassador July 20, 2012 at 08:51 PM
When I used to have a garden I ended up giving extras off at my neighbors sometimes even when they were at work. Everyone always knew when it was cucumber time.
Elisabeth Gilbert July 21, 2012 at 10:22 AM
Just began harvesting my cucumbers this week from my garden. Thanks for the receipe!

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