Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cucumber Salad

I called my sister this afternoon to ask if she knew the recipe for this cucumber salad.  Not just any cucumber salad.  A very specific one.  It’s sweet and acidic and sometimes has a white sauce stuff.  I figured it was sour cream, but I wasn’t sure and I didn’t know the ratio.  Ratio is key in these things.  I knew she must not be too busy since she had just sent me a picture of the cucumber and tomato salad she was having for lunch.

After a little looking she found recipe in a family cookbook she compiled several years ago.  Yes, I have a copy, but it’s in storage.

Turns out it’s really easy.  So easy I remember it. 

For each cucumber you mix three tablespoons white vinegar, three tablespoons water, and one tablespoon sugar together in a bowl.  Then you toss it with the cucumbers (peeled or unpeeled and sliced; I like to peel them if they’re a little big and have tougher skin) and salt and pepper to taste.  You can add onions too if you want.  I did.  If you want the creamy version you drain it and add a little sour cream right before you serve them.

My mom says if you chill the sliced cucumbers in ice water before you put them in they stay crunchier. Crunchiness is very important, but alas I received this tidbit too late for today's cucumber.
You’re supposed to let them sit in the fridge for three hours to soak in the flavor.  I tried them right away.  They were every bit as amazing as I remembered.  I asked if she thought you could just can them with that recipe and eat them all year long.  I thought it seemed like a brilliant idea.  Pretty sure those are called bread and butter pickles. Not exactly a new idea, but still a tasty one.
"Do you know how to make pickles?  Well, do you know how to make dill pickle slices with the crinkly edges?"
"You need a mandolin slicer."
 "I’m so glad I can talk to you about this stuff, because I don’t really have anybody else." 

"Because they wouldn’t know or they would think you were weird for asking?"

"They pretty much all fall in one category or the other."
We talked for a while longer as I gorged myself on cucumbers and did some internet mandolin slicer research. They are much more filling than you would think, or maybe that was the half gallon of water I drank.   It’s nice to talk to her on the phone while she has lunch.  I think we should do it more often.
"I would love to talk to you all afternoon, but I don’t have my work done.  I love you."
I love you too.

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