Help! I’m Drowning in Cucumbers!

July 24th, 2011

Drowning in Cucumbers

Fortunately, I have a great book on pickling.

Unfortunately, it’s 100°F outside (37.7777778°C) and the thought of boiling a huge kettle of water on the stove for canning is repulsive.

Fortunately, there are some pickle recipes that don’t involve heat. Even better, some recipes involve the freezer.

Unfortunately, all the Freezer Pickle recipes are sweet pickles. I’m not keen on sweet pickles.

Fortunately, I don’t usually follow recipes to the letter. I’m going to make Lime-Mint Freezer Pickles, but where the recipe calls for a small ripe sweet pepper, I’m going to use a couple of fresh hot chile peppers. That will take the edge off the sweetness, I hope. I’m thinking the purple Chinese Five-Color peppers would look cool with the green cucumbers, but I don’t know if the color will hold. We’ll see. Hot Pepper 'Chinese Five-Color'The rest of the ingredients besides sugar and vinegar are garlic, onion, fresh mint, and lime zest. The procedure is very simple. Salt and drain cucumbers, mix with the rest of the ingredients, refrigerate several hours and then pack into containers and store in the freezer. According to the book, the cucumbers will stay crunchy in the freezer when prepared this way. This seems incredible to me and I’m only on Step 1 at the moment, but I’ll let you know how they turn out. This made a big dent in my stash of cucumbers, so I may not drown after all.

And I’m making Cold Cucumber Yogurt Soup for dinner. I know I had a good recipe for this, but don’t remember where it came from. Basically, it’s a purée of cucumber and garlic and yogurt.

We have eaten well from the garden this week:

  • BLTs/BLT salad with basil/garlic mayonnaise (about 3 times) (previous BLT posts: 1, 2, 3)
  • Cherry tomatoes, basil and olive oil; again
  • Alsatian Gazpacho; again (this contains cucumber, by the way)
  • Cucumber wedges with ground red chile, salt and lime juice
  • My mother-in-law’s cucumber koshimbir with yogurt
  • My mother-in-law’s cucumber koshimbir without yogurt
  • My mother-in-law’s fried okra
  • Potatoes & onions in foil packets on the grill

P.S. The author of The Joy of Pickling – Linda Ziedrich – has a wonderfully interesting blog.

P.P.S. Stop by Greenish Thumb to see what other bloggers are cooking up from the garden this week.

4 Responses to “Help! I’m Drowning in Cucumbers!”

  1. Wendy says:

    beautiful peppers! So does the color hold up? I wish I could be drowning in cucumbers – I’m the worst cucumber grower!

    • entangled says:

      The only thing I can think that I did differently this year was to plant the cucumbers in the wettest part of the garden. During the winter it’s really soggy there but it dries out in the summer, or so I thought.

      The purple color of the peppers really stands out in the garden. They sort of maintained their color in the pickle, but I sliced them very thin crosswise and it didn’t show up as much as I would have liked. The 3 pints I packed for the freezer are still showing the purple color, but I left the remainder of the batch in the fridge and the color had started to fade by lunchtime the next day (when we ate it all). I think when I make it again, I’d use the same peppers, but cut them into lengthwise strips hoping to show more of the purple color.

  2. SwimRay says:

    Glad to hear about your cukes. I’m getting some now, and this year is so-so. I left town for 4 days, and came back to fat oversized cucumbers. What a little rain will do.

    • entangled says:

      It’s been raining up there? We haven’t had good rain in central Virginia for a few weeks. Well, that’s not quite true – it’s rained all around us (5-10 miles away) but not over us.

      I should post a picture of some of the cucumbers we didn’t find until they were huge. We thought we were doing such a thorough job hunting them, but no.

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