When life gives you cucumbers

Lately the pickling cucumbers have truly come into their own. I’m not sure how many I planted – more than 12, less than 20 – but I was desperate to make up for a dismal lack of cukes last year. (What the deer didn’t destroy, the cucumber beetles did). Guess I overcompensated, because we’re hauling in between 2-3 pounds every day.

Now I love me some fresh cucumber salad. And in my opinion, the pickling cucumbers make the best fresh eating. They’re actually almost-sweet, almost-melony, with a really satisfying crunch to them. We like them with tomatoes, balsamic, and mozzarella; or how about dill and feta; or maybe with marinated red onion and bell pepper? Heck you can put ranch dressing on fresh cukes and they will taste divine. My daughter, in fact, will eat as many as she can the entire time we’re in the garden – usually two or three a day. Even so, we’ve amassed a big ole bag of the things in the fridge.

So what’s a girl to do, but make pickles?

I kind of hate to make pickles out of them, actually. We just aren’t big pickle eaters. We’ve still got plenty of jars of last-year’s garlic-dill-pickles, and about four jars of relish too.

Still, this recipe intrigued me. It’s for a sweet-and-sour sandwich pickle, made with brown sugar. The cukes are sliced thin, longways, and are meant to be tucked between layers of deli meat and cheese. My mouth was watering thinking about all the squashed Cuban paninis we could make with these guys. (I went ahead and canned a pint and a half of that blackberry lemon syrup while I was at it.)

Four pounds made five pints; I think we can probably go through five pints in a year, right? Right?

I hope so, because we just harvested another 2 pounds 11 oz this morning.

Anyone have any more cucumber suggestions for non-pickle-lovers? Maybe a salsa or something? I suppose jars of pickles could make good gifts if it came down to not wasting the harvest…

9 Responses to “When life gives you cucumbers”

  1. Darcy Says:

    It’s times like these when you need to have that license of yours to sell at Farmer’s Market – home grown organic pickles (sweet & sour OR dill) would be on the top of my list to purchase, as well as relish from the same crop! YUMMY!:razz:

  2. diana Says:

    Oh, I wish! 😀 Some day… when the kiddos are in school maybe!

  3. Erin Says:

    Oh we LOVE pickles, so not a problem here. I think you need to acquire some more mouths, mine eat all ours raw;) Tzatziki? I was making a lot of cucumber sandwiches (i know sounds odd coming from me), tzatziki, cucumbers, red peppers, red onion, carrot, lettuce ect sliced really thin, usually added a sharp cheese.

  4. Jenna Says:

    Cucumber bread! Make it the same way as Zuchini Bread, just squeeze out some of the juice!

  5. Diane Says:

    We are dill pickle-eating freakazoids! Yum! Other than that, we use cukes for tzatziki and cucumber salads. Our favorite is “Nana’s Cukes”. Nana was our neighbor at one point and she’d slice cukes, slather a bit of Miracle Whip, sugar, and vinegar, then let set in the fridge for a day or two. I detest MW but will use it for this one recipe. It’s simple but it’s cucumber crack to us. Yum, yum, yum!

  6. diana Says:

    My mama emailed me this link and I thought I’d share it with you all in case you’re in a similar “pickle” (ha ha, see what I did there? I’m hilarious!)
    http://www.marthastewart.com/photogallery/cucumber-recipes-1#slide_17
    A collection of cucumber recipes! Some of MS’ stuff is too fancy for me, but you always know it’ll taste good. At the very least, it’s an inspiration or jumping off point. :)

  7. Aunt Nancy Says:

    I recommend Lime pickles. Sorry, I don’t have a recipe and have never made them, but I LOVE to eat them!!! They are more like a sweet snack than a pickle!! YUMMMMMMM!!!!!!! If you decide to make some and can figure a way to ship them, I’d be more than happy to buy some!!!!!

  8. diana Says:

    Nancy – I looked up lime pickles thinking they might have limes in them, but it looks like they are made with pickling lime… I’ve never heard of that before! What do they taste like?

  9. Aunt Nancy Says:

    A SWEET snack! I might be able to get the recipe for you if you want it. I think they are some that you have to mess with quite a bit, but I don’t know for sure since I’ve never made them, but I DO love to eat them!!

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