Cucumber Tickles


Cucumber harvest is upon us here in Boise. Lots of people prepare home made pickles of one sort or another, and they always taste better when they come from your own garden.

My wife’s family has made this a sort of family tradition – one of the more memorable foods I “married into”. Problem for me was that when I inquired for the recipe, there wasn’t one. Or let’s just say, my wife makes up her own recipe, as she goes. No need to get complicated.

I’ve seen Hispanic street vendors do some interesting things with cucumbers. Once in Chicago, I ordered a bag of fresh cucumbers with lemon juice, salt, and cayenne. It was quite good. Tonight I started asking my wife about the ingredients she uses. I figured, if I could at least get a list of ingredients, I could slowly figure out the measurements.

Since this is not an exact science I will probably make some adjustments in the weeks ahead. And I welcome comments on your own experiences.

Cucumbers –> 2 or 3 medium sized

Sliced onions –> 1/2 Cup

Apple cider vinegar –> 1 Cup

Water –> 1/2 Cup

Cane sugar –> 2 teaspoons

Sea salt –> 1 teaspoon

Ground peppercorns –> 1/4 teaspoon

Crushed red pepper –> 1/2 teaspoon

• The objective here is NOT to produce a fully pickled product. Just add a tickle of flavor to ordinary cucumbers.

• So  lets start by choosing some nice cucumbers. Peel them, and cut them into slices about 1/8 inch thick. Or, thick enough to bite into, but thin enough to chew easily.

• Slice up a small onion. If you like rings, you can keep it in rings. If you like it chopped up small, then chop it up in small chunks. Doesn’t matter. If you like green onions, or pearl onions, chop up a bunch of them instead.

• Put the onion & cucumber into a large bowl. We use a deep Rubbermaid container, so we can cover it and refrigerate it. Pour in the vinegar and water, then stir in the sugar, salt and pepper.

• Let it marinate for a few hours in the refrigerator before serving.


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