Tuesday, August 19, 2014

jen's cucumber salad




I am desperately trying to hang on to the last days of Summer, folks.  It actually used to not be one of my favorites, but after having children and realizing the quality time I get with them during that season - especially after going back to work full-time - it's so incredibly hard to let go.  

When I do get some days off in the summer, I love the care-free nature of them.  I adore the dirty feet of my boys from being outside all day long and having to scrub their knees extra hard to get a full day's play off of 'em.  I love the freeze pops by the dozen and the feel of the air conditioner after getting a shower following a sticky, balmy afternoon.  And I would be remiss if I didn't mention how very much I love the bounty of veggies and fruit that seemingly make their way into our kitchen, whether we planted them or not.  

This year, one of John's students brought us an abundance of small cucumbers.  They were fantastic and not at all bitter.  We both really love keeping a huge Mason jar stocked with them in sugary vinegar brine, sliced onions, and some seasonings.  They are crisp, crunchy, cool, and a perfect side or condiment to so many different things.  They will last forever, unless - of course - you're like us.  Then the jar is empty more than it's full, and we're a little sad until another generous soul passes on their harvest.  

A quick tip:  these can be added to the brine as you get them, but they flavor up much more quickly if you pour boiling brine over them.  I don't know… the slices are infused from the inside-out, and once cooled, they're absolutely perfect!

Enjoy!

Cucumber Salad
makes 2 quarts
  • 8 small cucumbers
  • 2 cups distilled white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp dill weed
  • 1/2 tbsp celery seed
~ Mix vinegar, sugar, water and seasonings in saucepan and bring to a boil.

~ While mixture is heating, slice cucumbers about a 1/4 inch thick.

~ Pour mixture over cucumbers, cover tightly, and let cool on counter.  Place in 
    refrigerator until fully chilled.