Tag Archives: vinegar

Farm to table: Cucumber yogurt salad on ours

Farm to table” is one of those buzzwords that is a bit irritating in that those who live in farming communities or small towns where large gardens are the norm, have been eating “farm to table” or garden to table for generations past. But in the sense that it has suggests a growing movement that promotes sustainability even in urban areas, it’s a good thing.

My brothers and I grew up in the same small town where I live today. Our parents had a huge garden which helped to feed the seven of us year round. Our basement (dusty cellar is a better description) had shelves lined with canned vegetables and fruit, jellies, ketchup (the real stuff), and later, a large chest freezer filled with more vegetables and fruits.

When we weren’t swimming or playing, we were snapping beans, shelling peas, husking corn, and peeling apples. This was not always done with a smile, but some resignation. Looking back, those chores taught us to be hard workers. Today all five — even the two in Tucson — have some sort of garden.

Because of time constraints, my edible garden consists mostly of lettuce, cucumbers, squash, tomatoes and herbs. Instead, I lean heavily on the local farmer’s market, as well as several farm stands, to eat “farm to table.”  Yesterday’s stop at the farmer’s market produced this take:

IMG_0136[1]Sweet corn, yellow and green sweet peppers, seedless cucumbers, zucchini and yellow squash of several varieties, white carrots, tiny red potatoes, green beans and brown eggs.

This will hold us for at least a few days until my own cukes and tomatoes are ready or I have to hit up the farm stand.

Yesterday, while figuring out what I wanted for lunch, the cucumbers produced a memory of a favorite salad. In the 70s, my mom began making her own yogurt, which became the basis of a dressing for cucumber salad. IMG_0146[1]

It’s still a favorite, and the fresh dill in my herb garden adds the perfect touch. I vary this, depending on what kind of vinegar is handy. Yesterday it was rice vinegar. Slice the cukes very thin — best done with a Bluffton (Ohio) Slaw Cutter, but a knife or food processor also works. This is a small recipe — perfect for one or two, but you can double or triple as necessary.

Cucumber Salad
1 long seedless cucumber, sliced thin
1/3 c. plain yogurt
1 tbsp. (or more) rice vinegar
1/3 tsp. lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped fresh dill to taste

Whisk together the yogurt, vinegar, and dill and pour over the sliced cucumbers. Mix, then add salt and pepper to taste. If you can wait, refrigerate for an hour. It’s also really good a day later — if there is any left over.

Variations: Add chopped sweet peppers (any color) or onions.

Honey, vinegar and moonshine…sure cure for arthritis

Do you know that one of the suggested remedies for arthritis is to drink a mixture of honey, vinegar and moonshine? Okay, here’s the first problem. Moonshine is technically a distilled spirit made in an illegal still and since my brother had to dismantle his experimental still back in the ’70s, I’m not sure of where to get some…short of a quick trip to the Appalachians.

I know this because my Christmas stash included the first nine volumes of Foxfire, a vintage set, thanks to my Half-Price-Books- manager-daughter. For the uninformed, too young to remember, or non-readers, Foxfire magazine was begun in the 1960s by Eliot Wigginton and his students at Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School, a private secondary education school in Georgia. The Foxfire books are a series of compilations of the magazines.

Got a headache? Tie a flour sack around your head. Suffering from a cold? Boil pine leaves to make a tea or put goose-grease salve on your chest.

One of my all-time favorite remedies for a cough (which I have right now) is to “Put some ground ginger from the store in saucer and add a little sugar. Put it on the tongue just before bedtime. It burns the throat and most of the time will stop coughs. This I might try. Actually, I think my husband may actually administer this himself. My hacking might be a bit of a bother.

I should re-read this set in order, but it’s more fun to leaf through random volumes, reading ghost stories, learning the art of shoemaking, faith healing, snake handling, and “other affairs of just plain living”.

And that, exactly, is what Foxfire is about — plain living. Long before iPods, iPads, cell phones, computer games, Wi, and all those other electronic gadgets, invaded our lives, there were games like Please and Displease, Poor Old Tom, and Shakespears (not to be confused with Shakespeare).

I figure I have eight more days before returning to work. If I read fast, I might get through one volume a day. There’s one problem, though,…there are all those other books that said HBBooks-mgr-daughter deposited under the tree…so little time… so many books.