Friday, June 24, 2011

Getting Ready for the Harvest

I know its early, but yesterday I spent 5 hours weeding the garden. The sun was warm and the breeze was cool. Perfect day to spend in the garden! Yes, I'd let the weeds get out of hand. It won't happen again. I don't care how nice a day it was, 5 hours was waaaaaay too long! But I still had an great time getting Lugh's garden in order. He blessed me by finally showing me what to do with an old iron spoke wheel that I'd found buried in the woods last year. And the idea came from a completely outside source - very cool, and obviously meant to be!

Part of my gardening yesterday involved getting the cucumbers up on their trellis. Actually its a section of cattle fencing. Nice sturdy stuff! I always have tons of cucumbers and can't eat them all. So I went on a search for recipes, which I'll share here for anyone else who may always find themselves inundated with those wonderful cukes!

*Please note, these are not my recipes, I've had them for a while and have no idea where I got them - online, family, friends, etc..

Cucumber Recipes

Bread and Butter Pickles
1 ga Thin sliced cucumbers
6 Medium onions
3 cl Garlic
1/3 c Canning salt
2 tb Whole mustard seed
1 1/2 ts Celery seed
3 c White vinegar
5 c Sugar
1 1/2 ts Tumeric

Mix thin sliced cucumbers and onions and garlic with salt. 
Cover with ice and let sit for 3 hours. 
Then drain and add remaining ingredients. 
Bring to a boil and can in sterile pint jars. 

Cold Cucumber Pickles
7 c Sliced -- unpeeled Cucumbers
1 c Onion
1 c Green pepper
1 c Vinegar
1 tb Salt
1 tb Celery salt
2 c Sugar

Mix all together cold and store in covered container in refrigerator. 
Will keep for months.

Crisp Cucumber Pickle (Diabetic Pickles)
6 firm cucumbers
1 1/2 tbsp. liquid sweetener
2 c. white vinegar
1/4 c. salt
1/4 c. water
2 tbsp. mixed pickling spice

Wash and dry cucumbers; cut into strips to fit half-pint jars. 
Place in large bowl; sprinkle with salt and let stand overnight. 
Rinse and drain well several times. 
Combine sweetener, water and vinegar in a large kettle; bring to a boil. 
Add pickling spice tied in a cheesecloth bag. 
Add cucumbers. 
Reduce heat; simmer 15 minutes. Pack cucumbers into hot sterilized half-pint jars.
Heat liquid again to boiling; pour over pickles in hot jars.
Seal at once.
Process for 10 minutes in simmering water to cover jars. 
Makes 6 half-pints.

Crock Cucumber Pickles
1 ga White vinegar
1 c Sugar
1 c Salt
1 c Dry mustard
Sm to med. whole cucumbers

Make a paste of sugar, salt and mustard and stir into vinegar. 
Drop in washed cucumbers. 
Stir every time you add cucumbers. 
Put a plate on top to keep cucumbers in the brine.

Country-Style Cucumbers
2 large waxed cucumbers
1 small red onion
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon snipped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
Tabasco sauce or pepper -- to taste

Peel waxed cucumbers, cut in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds and slice thinly. 
Or wash and thinly slice small unwaxed cucumbers without peeling. 
Peel and thinly slice onion, separate into rings, combine in mixing bowl with cucumbers. 
Bring vinegar, water and sugar boil, stir in dill weed and pour over cucumbers. 
Toss well, cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight, to blend flavors. 
Serve as a side salad or a relish.

Avocado and Cucumber Salad
2 lg Cucumbers
2 Avocadoes
1/4 c Vegetable oil
1 Lemon
1 sm Garlic clove, pressed
Black pepper
Large lettuce leaves

Peel the cucumbers, cut them in half lengthwise, & core with a melon cutter, discarding the pulp & the seeds. 
Slice thinly & place in a bowl. 
Salt the slices & refrigerate for an hour. 
Cut the avocadoes in half along the narrow side & remove the seed. 
Peel & dice. 
Combine with cucumber. 
Mix the oil with the lemon, garlic, pepper & additional salt if needed. 
Stir together with the avocado & cucumber & store in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. 
Serve cold on the lettuce leaves. 

Cool Cucumber Pasta
8 oz Tube pasta
1 tb Vegetable oil
2 md Cucumbers, thinly sliced
1 md Onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 c Sugar
1 c Water
3/4 c Vinegar
1 tb Prepared mustard
1 tb Dried parsley flakes
1 ts Salt
1 ts Pepper
1/2 ts Garlic salt

Cook the pasta according to package directions; drain and rinse in cold water.
Place in a large bowl; stir in oil, cucumbers and onion. 
Combine remaining ingredients; pour over salad and toss. 
Cover and chill for 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally. 
Serve with a slotted spoon. 
Yield: 8-10 servings.

Creaming Cucumber Dressing
1 c Lowfat yogurt
1/3 c Finely chopped cucumber; peeled and seeded
1/4 c Lowfat mayonnaise
2 tb Chopped green onions
2 tb Fresh lemon juice
1/4 ts Salt
1/4 ts Dried whole dillweed
1/8 ts Pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl; stir well. 
Cover and chill. 
Can be served over mixed salad greens. 
Makes 1 3/4 cups. 

Cucumber and Onion In Sour Cream
1/2 c Sour cream
1 tb Sugar
1 tb Vinegar
1/2 ts Salt
2 md Cucumbers; thinly sliced
2 sm Onions; thinly sliced

Combine sour cream, sugar, vinegar, and salt; add cucumbers and onion, tossing gently. 
Cover and chill 24 hours, stirring occasionally.

Cheese-filled Cucumber Slices
1 lg. cucumber (about 9 1/2 oz.)
1/2 oz. Swiss or Gruyere cheese, shredded
1 tbsp. chopped scallion (green onion)
1 tbsp. chopped fresh dill or 1/4 tsp. dill weed
1 tbsp. whipped cream cheese
Dash each salt and white pepper

Cut off ends of cucumber. 
Using tines of a fork, score peel of cucumber. 
Cut cucumber in half crosswise and using a melon baller or small spoon, remove and discard seeds from both halves; set aside. 
In small mixing bowl thoroughly combine remaining ingredients. 
Spoon half of the cheese mixture into cored section of each cucumber half. 
Wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour. 
To serve, remove plastic wrap and carefully slice each cucumber half into 6 equal slices. 
Makes 2 servings, 6 slices each.

Cold Cucumbers with Garlic
1 lb Cucumbers
2 ts Salt
2 ts Sugar
1 tb White rice vinegar
1 1/2 tb Peanut oil
1 tb Coarsely chopped garlic

SLICE THE CUCUMBERS in half lengthways. 
Using a spoon, remove the seeds. 
Cut the cucumber halves into 3-by-1/2-inch pieces. 
Combine the cucumber pieces with salt and allow to sit in a colander set inside a bowl for 10 minutes. 
Rinse them in cold water, blot them dry and toss with the sugar and vinegar. 
Heat a wok or large frying pan until it is hot and add the oil and garlic. 
Stir-fry for 15 seconds until it is lightly brown. 
Mix with the cucumbers and serve.

Cool Cucumber Dip
1 c Lowfat cottage cheese
1/2 md Cucumber; remove peel and cut into pieces
4 Radishes
2 Scallions with green tops
1 tb Fresh lemon juice or lime juice
1/4 ts Dried dill
1 ts Seasoned salt
1 ds Hot pepper sauce

In the container of a blender combine cottage cheese, cucumber, radishes, scallions, lemon or lime juice, dill, seasoned salt and hot pepper sauce. 
Process until smooth. 
Cover and chill. 
Makes about 1 1/2 cups. 

Cream Cheese Stuffed Cucumbers
3 md English cucumbers, scrubbed
1 pk (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 c Pimiento stuffed olives, chopped (optional)
1/4 c Chopped chives

Remove ends from cucumbers and cut in half lengthwise. 
Using a melon baller or grapefruit spoon, remove seeds from both halves. 
In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, olives, and chives. 
Blend until well mixed. 
Stuff each cucumber half with cheese mixture and reassemble halves, pressing together gently. 
Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Cut into 1/4 inch slices to serve. 

Cucumber "noodles" with Tomato Salsa
2 lb (about 2 large) seedless
1 tb Salt

For the salsa:
1 lb Plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1/4 c Thinly sliced scallion
1 lg Garlic clove, minced
1 Pickled jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 tb White-wine vinegar
1/4 ts Sugar

With a sharp knife cut cucumbers lengthwise into 1/8 inch thick "noodles" about 1/2 inch wide. In a bowl toss with salt and let stand for 10 min. 
Make the salsa while cucumber noodles are standing: stir together the salsa ingredients. 
Serves 6.

Cream of Cucumber Soup
2 c. peeled and coarsely chopped cucumbers
1 c. chicken broth
1 c. light cream
1/4 c. chopped chives
1/4 c. chopped celery leaves
3 sprigs of parsley
3 tbsp. soft butter
2 tbsp. of flour

Cover the container and blend in mixer until smooth. 
Season with salt and pepper. 
Serve either hot or cold. 
If served hot, garnish with a very small amount of dill weed. 
If served cold, garnish with finely chopped cucumbers and a bit of grated lemon rind. 
Serves 4 to 6.

Cream of Cucumber Soup
3 (8 inch) cucumbers
2 tbsp. butter
1/4 c. chopped shallots or scallions
4 c. clear chicken broth
1 tsp. wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. dried dillweed or tarragon
3 tbsp. quick-cooking farina cereal
Salt & white pepper
1 c. sour cream
1 tbsp. dillweed or parsley for garnish

Peel cucumbers, cut 12 to 14 paper thin slices and reserve in bowl for decoration later. 
Chop rest into 1/2 inch chunks, about 3 cups in all. 
Melt butter in heavy saucepan, stir in shallots. 
Cook 1 minute. 
Add cucumber, chicken broth, vinegar and dill. Bring to boil. 
Stir in farina gradually. 
Boil slowly, uncovered, 20 minutes until farina is tender. 
Puree in blender. 
Thin with milk. 
Season with salt and pepper. 
TO SERVE COLD: Add salt and beat in sour cream. Top with cucumber slices and dill or parsley. 
TO SERVE HOT: Bring soup to simmer and beat in sour cream just before serving. Top with cucumber slices and dill. May be frozen before adding sour cream.

Cucumber and Red Onion Soup
5 c Cucumbers
3 c Red onions
6 c Sour cream
2 tb Salt
3 tb Sugar
1/2 c Fresh dill weed- chopped
1/2 c Lemon juice

Peel and slice cucumbers as thin as you can. 
Peel and slice red onions thin as you can. (It's easier if you cut the onion in half and slice cut side down).
Use a deep 1 gallon bowl or crock. 
Alternate layers of cukes and onions with sprinkles of the salt and sugar between each layer.
This will draw out the juices that make it soup. 
Pile sour cream on top. 
Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours or more. 
To serve, add the fresh dill weed and lemon juice and stir it up. Add more lemon juice or sugar to taste. 
Cool and refreshing, this is just perfect when it is too hot to cook, and cucumbers are running wild. 

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