Friday, July 24, 2009

Cucumbers

I have recently been getting lots of cucumbers. Daddy took some cucumbers to the people that he works with today. Daddy and Ben helped make me an arch for the cucumbers to grow up. I have 12 cucumber plants, since Daddy loves them so much. I planted two types of cucumbers: poinsette 76, and regular burpless hybrid.

Cucumbers are a member of the cucurbit family, which also includes squash, melons and gourds. They originated in India, near the Himalayan Mountains. The Bible mentions them in 3 places: Numbers 11:5, Isaiah 1:8 and Jeremiah 10:5. During the Roman Empire, cucumbers were grown for the Emperor. The Middle Ages also had cucumbers, as Charlemagne had them grown in his garden. Christopher Columbus was the first to introduce cucumbers to Haiti, and later, Jacques Cartier found cucumber plants being grown in South America. Cucumbers are widely used now as they are easy to grow in the garden and are tasty in many foods. The phrase "cool as a cucumber" originated from a poem that was written by John Gay in 1732.

Cucumbers are a good source of silicon, chlorine potassium, sodium, sulfur, fluorine and magnesium. Cucumbers also help digestion and constipation. They also are used in some beauty products.

Have you ever had a bitter cucumber? We normally have some in the middle of summer. Bitter cucumbers are caused by a chemical which is in the leaves and stem. Different fluctuations can allow the plant to place the chemicals in the fruit. Here is a list of the fluctuations:
  • Heat Heat can stress the plant causing it to produce bitter cucumbers.
  • Uneven Watering If a plant is unevenly watered causing it to go through stages of drought and over watering, it will also stress the plant.
  • Temperature Fluctuation If the temperature drastically fluctuates over a long period of time, the plant will become stressed to make it produce bitter cucumbers.
My family loves cucumbers and sour cream. I should have taken a picture of them last night, because Momma makes hers "by taste" just the way Daddy loves them. This is a very rough estimate of the ingredients. Here is her recipe:

Cucumbers 'n' Sour Cream
Enough cucumbers to fill a large serving bowl
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 cup sour cream
chopped green onion
ground black pepper (optional)

Slice peeled cucumbers into a large bowl. Add some chopped green onion to the cucumbers. Mix vinegar and sour cream together and pour over the cucumbers and onions. Stir until everything is coated completely. Sprinkle with ground black pepper and serve.

Ms. Charlotte at Canning Jars etc. posted on bread and butter pickles. Momma loves bread and butter pickles, so we might try this recipe. No one else in our family really likes pickles. Momma also has thought about making cucumber relish. A good place to get some other cucumber recipes is here. My brother and I just love to eat them plain too!

3 comments:

  1. Hi Anna ~ interesting post on what makes cucumbers bitter. I thought it had to do with not getting enough water - interesting to note that it's more a fluctuation reason.

    We like to eat cukes with the peeling on and also like vinegar on them too. But I think Mr G wouldn't take kindly to eating them with sour cream. :) ~ Mrs G

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello Mrs. G!

    Cucumbers and sour cream actually is considered a Southern dish. Does Mr. G not like sour cream at all???

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Anna ~ I'm just checking back in on this post and saw your question. No, he's not a sour cream lover at all! Actually, I only eat it in a recipe when I don't know I'm eating it! :)

    ReplyDelete