Thursday, June 3, 2010

Cucumber Salad, twelve years in the making


Do you know what that is? Friends, this is chilled bowl of vinegary cucumbery goodness.

Confession: when I first decided to be vegetarian, I didn’t know what to eat. I ate Thomas wheat bagels and cucumbers. Every day. I don’t know how I held out, or why I didn’t look for anything better. For years after, I stayed away from the cucumber aside from a slice or two in the occasional sandwich. People who knew me back when I ate them all the time couldn’t believe that I didn’t like cucumbers, as all evidence pointed to them being a favorite food.

Second story: I was a waitress for precisely three days. I quit, or was fired, but in any event it was a mutual agreement. The boss was a jerk, the restaurant was a mess, and the place closed soon after. It was one of those meat-and-three kind of places you find all over the South where you can get a quick lunch because most items are prepared ahead of time. What does this have to do with cucumbers, you ask? One of the duties of the waitresses was to make the tomato and cucumber salad, which was one of the side item choices at the restaurant. Like I said, the place was a mess – literally dirty – and I lost my desire to eat the cucumber and tomato salad.

Now, though, it’s been a dozen years since any of that happened, and I was ready to try again. Well, that and I had two cucumbers I didn’t know what to do with. So I made a cucumber salad, but just with cucumber, a spoonful of sugar, and apple cider vinegar. Let the vinegar work its pickley magic on the cucumber and chill the whole thing. Tomatoes and onions are optional but make a great addition to this salad.

Thanks for reading my story. Who would have thought I’d have so much history with a cucumber? Has anyone else had a personal aversion to a food? How did you get over it?

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