Thursday, August 4, 2011

Creamed Cucumbers and Vinegar & Onion Cucumbers

These next side dishes have a lot of meaning to me. We were big cucumber lovers in my family when I was growing up. I have such vivid memories of my Mom fixing supper on nights when she was off work. She would always give us a little something to munch on before dinner. Nothing that would fill us up before we ate but would keep us from bugging her every two minutes about when we would be eating. She would slice up some cukes, put them in a bowl and add some cold vinegar on top (Mom always kept her vinegar cold) and then she sprinkled it all with a bit of salt. She always kept those vinegar cucumbers on the kitchen counter while making supper. My whole family would be a walking parade in and out of the kitchen to come get more cucumbers to eat. And my Mom got to make dinner in relative peace since we were temporarily satisfied.
I just adore cucumbers and slicing them up brings back a flood of memories of my childhood years. If you've never eaten cucumber in vinegar or in a creamed salad before, these recipes might sound really weird or strange. I guess it is one of those things that you just gotta grow up eating to truly appreciate. But I'm thinking, if you give them a try, you just might grow to love these simple but tasty cucumber dishes.
A couple of words on cucumbers first. In recent years, I've become a huge lover of English or hothouse cucumbers (in picture above). You can eat the skins on those and they are so tasty.  But unless I can get them on sale or for a good price at the farmer's market, I just use the  traditional cucumber variety (just be sure to peel those first before using). 

Vinegar Cucumbers

1 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 tbsp. table salt (more or less to taste)
1 whole English cucumber (or 2 traditional cucumbers), thinly sliced
½ small red onion, sliced (optional)

If using traditional cucumbers, you’ll need to peel them first before slicing. English (or hothouse) cucumbers do not need to be peeled. In a medium bowl combine vinegars. Add in sliced cucumbers and onion (if using). Sprinkle with salt and stir slightly. Put cover or plastic wrap over bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour. Or do like Mom and keep your vinegar cold before making these.
Here they are with onions.

Cook's Note: If all you have is the white vinegar, then just use that. No need to go out and buy apple vinegar special for this.

Creamed Cucumbers

1 large English (hothouse) cucumber, or 2 traditional cucumbers
1 tbsp. salt
½ red onion, thinly sliced
½ cup Sour Cream (or plain yogurt)
2 tbsp. sugar      
1 tbsp. mayonnaise
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar (or white)
½ tsp. ground black pepper
½ tsp. dried dill weed (or fresh if you have it)

Slice cucumbers (thick or thin, depending how you like it.) If using traditional cucumbers, you’ll need to peel them before slicing. Put cucumbers in colander in sink.  Sprinkle with one tablespoon of salt and gently toss. Let cucumbers sit in colander for at least an hour or more to remove excess moisture from cucumber (longer if you have the time).
Rinse cucumbers when ready to use and pat dry with paper towel to remove excess water and salt.  This will help keep your salad from getting too runny.

In a medium bowl combine sour cream, sugar, mayo, vinegar, pepper and dill weed. Stir well. Toss in cucumbers and onion and stir to coat thoroughly. Cover bowl and put into fridge. Chill for at least an hour before serving. Gently stir before serving.

Cook's note: Cucumbers are mostly made up of water. You will be able to get some of the excess moisture out of the cukes, but not all. A bit of the dressing will settle to the bottom of this dish along with a bit of the moisture from the cucumbers. That's perfectly normal. Just give it a gentle stir before serving and all will be right with the world again.



Annie Oakley's Kitchen said...

Right now I have a ton of cucumbers in my fridge that need to be used but I am sick of making pickles. If I am feeling up to it (dentist today) I think I might make the creamed version. I love that stuff!

Rosemary said...

I love both these salads! A neighbor just gave me a new (to me) kind of cucumber called New Zealand, or apple. I'm anxious to do something with it.

Curt said...

Sounds and looks very tasty. I'm writing up my wife's grandmother's recipe for something similar for this weekend.

I've seen lots of slight variations on this. I like the onions in yours.

Shore Girl said...

My daughter and I love cucumbers too! Most of the time we just peal and slice them -- add a sprinkle of salt -- and eat them. Next to that my favorite is the creamed cucumbers like you have! YUMMY!

Brooks at Cakewalker said...

Your Mom knew just how to stave the family off until dinner could be finished, and now that my kids are eating salad-type veggies, I find myself using the same tactic to find the peace she did. These are lovely recipes Brandie, fresh and healthy. Brava!

RavieNomNoms said...

Brandie!!! This reminds me so much of my family. My mom always makes vinegar cukes or cream cukes. My mom says it comes from our Polish grandmother. Now, I don't know if that the origin of these cuke dishes are actually Polish...but I adore them anyways! So very much reminds me of being younger...we used to have these all the time.

Thanks so much for sharing it

carolinaheartstrings said...

OMG I think we had the same mother. That is exactly how my mother fixed cucumbers with the vinegar and salt. I loved it that way! Wow things for the trip down memory lane! - Tammie

The Mom Chef said...

I LOVE cucumbers. For me, the smell of fresh cukes and watermelon are the smells of summer. And I adore them in vinegar and creamed and plain and salted....oh heck, I just adore them. I'll definitely be giving both of these a try.

scrambledhenfruit said...

My mom always made (and still does!) the cukes in vinegar, but I've never tried the creamed version. Sounds yummy! :)

thecompletecookbook said...

Your creamed cucumber salad sounds wonderful.
:-) Mandy

Ethnic Girl Fun said...

I often ate the vinegar cucumbers at my auntie's house. My mom made a simplier version with just sour cream and cukes. I want to try your version.

Lisa@BlessedwithGrace said...

Thanks for sharing your cucumber salad, this week, too! Great minds think alike. Thanks for linking up to Tempt My Tummy Tuesday over At The Well.

Amy said...

Both of these recipes look delicious! We're big cucumber and squash eaters, so I'm sure I'll be working this into my summer veggie rotation.

So glad I discovered your blog via Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays! :)

Christina said...

I love cucumber salad! I make a similar version of your creamed cucumbers but I like that yours has dill in it.

Shanna Watson said...

Love me some cucumbers! I usually slice them up really thin, along with cherry tomatoes, red wine vinegar, and "Season All" seasoning. YUMMY!

Patti said...

The creamed cukes look so good - and cukes are certainly abundant t this time of year!

JudyBug said...

Your creamed cucumbers look just like what my mother made. I didn't have her recipe so trying this for sure!

I adore cukes and will be sure to try the vinegar also.

Linda said...

I love creamed cucumbers and have never had a formal recipe. Oddly enough these were first made for me by a gal who was raised in Baltimore. :) I am so happy to have a printable recipe - thanks!

Anonymous said...

Ok, I made these as well as the BLT bites for a friends brunch. She has a little garden with delicious cucumbers and I wanted to make something good with them. I saw this recipe a while ago and I had never heard of them but i thought.. Everything I have made from you, has always been great. So I'll go with it. Well I forgot dill and was out of vinegar. So I left them out. I was telling my mom, on the way to the brunch and she lectured me how I HAD to have the vinegar! Well everyone loved them anyways even without the important stuff :) Thanks again!


The Country Cook said...

Erin..haha. Well Mom is right there but I'm still so happy to hear that they enjoyed it all anyway!!! :)

Katie said...

This brings back so many memories! I thought I would never find anything close to what I had as a kid! You did it! Wonderful!

Lea Ann @ Baking Memories Last said...

sounds wonderful, can't wait to try the creamed cucumbers. Thanks so much for sharing.

carolynvsc said...

I am so thrilled to find this recipe! Creamed cucumbers bring back wonderful childhood memories for me as well. My Mom made them on a regular basis. Sadly, she passed away two years ago from Alzheimer's. So many times I have thought about this recipe, wishing that I could re-create it. Thank you so much.

Jana said...

Love cucumbers! Found your recipes while looking for any recipes for using cukes in hot pot roast? My Czech grandmom made a wonderful creamed cuke salad with fresh dill, much like this one seems to be done. My husband's family (of Japanese origin) makes a thinly sliced (not peeled)cuke salad using rice vinegar and tiny canned baby clams (or clam bits, if a budget concern), traditionally served during New Year's parties. The extra thin slicing (done with the fine slicing blade on a grater- box),with just the touch of peel left on, also makes it very pretty. It has a yummy sweet-tart taste, a bit different than regular vinegar cukes.

Leann Phillips said...

Hi, I grew up eating cucumbers as main dishes! They are a favorite and I see the same love in my kids. Love the sound of the recipes. Can't wait to try them since we usually just eat them raw. My one question is why do u say to not eat the peel of regular cukes?

Granny K said...

Have I told you lately that I love you? Well, actually it's your food I love.

Lee Ann said...

Those creamed cucumbers look delicious! Thanks for posting this recipe. I had not heard of a recipe like this until I saw your post. Thanks again.
Lee Ann

Crochet...Gotta Love It! Blog

Kim Honeycutt said...

I'm loving this. Yes, my mother made a cucumber and onion salad I loved. I remember her putting ice cubes in it to make it cold. So many of your recipes bring back wonderful memories of her! Thanks!! Pinning it!

I've never had the creamy kind but willing to give it a try.

Linda Rogers said...

I really like your take on the Creamy Cucumber recipe. I've never used sour cream but it sounds delish! I use one cup Mayo, 2-3 TBLSP White Vinegar, 1 TBLSP Apple Cider Vinegar, 2 tsp Sugar, 3 TSP Dill W, Onions and Cucumbers. I'm really excited to try a combination of your recipe and mine. I'll use both Sour Cream and Mayo; just not as much Mayo. Thanks for sharing :)

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