Dear Mayonnaise-Not Today Part 2

Cucumber Salad

There has been a bumper crop of Straight Eight Cucumbers Out Here in the Pasture.

Back in the 1950’s my mother would smother sliced cucumbers and onions in Miracle Whip. I thought I hated cucumbers! As a new wife, living in Germany, I discovered the beauty of a cucumber salad dressed with vinegar-big improvement.

The Empty Nest was a difficult transition for us, simply because I was accustomed to preparing vats of food. One never knew when one or both of the girls would show up with a hoard of hungry friends!

Now, soups get made in one gallon pots. Salads in a small serving bowl etc.

The beauty of this cucumber recipe is that the salad will stay fresh and edible for two months in the refrigerator! Just spend twenty minutes slicing and chopping-put the salad in a jar with a tight fitting lid and you will have a ready to serve salad for two months-or as long as it lasts.

I wish I could credit the original recipe I found, but that is long gone. Please-as always-adjust the seasoning to your family’s taste! At our house, we add a minimum of sugar, but a really large PINCH of red pepper flakes. This mayonnaise-free salad is great for picnics-the vinegar and sugar keep the salad safe.

Cucumbers-Out Here in the Pasture

Cucumber Salad

Ingredients

  • 4-6 thinly sliced cucumbers-partially peeled in stripes
  • 1 large onion-red or white-thinly sliced (red is prettier)
  • 1 green pepper thinly sliced-late in the season use a red or yellow!
  • 1 T sea salt
  • 2 cups vinegar-white makes a sparkling salad, but Bragg's adds some health benefits
  • 1/3 to 1 1/2 cups of white sugar-again we are on the low side with sugar, but the full amount produces a sprightly bread and butter pickle flavor
  • 1 T of celery seed-or flakes-or leave it out
  • 1 pinch of red pepper flakes-here is where you separate the adults from the kids
  • 2 handfuls of ice-or 2 cups of cold water

Instructions

  1. Toss all the veggies in a big bowl. Use some old pickle jars, or 2 1 quart canning jars, or 1 half gallon canning jar (my choice), and place the veggies in the jars..
  2. Heat the vinegar, sugar and desired spices in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Add the ice or water and pour the mixture over the contents of the jars. Store in refrigerator for up to 2 months-I guarantee it will be gone long before that.
  3. Use as a side dish, or drain some and add a few spoonfuls of sour cream to change it up. The Piper makes a bowl of lettuce from the garden and tops it with some of this salad and some of the juice. He usually adds some pickled beets and chows on down.
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