A: All the recipes I have are posted. I'm not holding anything back,
so I can't send anything to you. If you don't see what you're looking
for, you can try posting to the newsgroup rec.food.recipes, or, for pickles,
There are as many recipes for cucumber salads and cucumber
sandwiches as there are Great-Aunt Berthas who make them. They
are not difficult, are very forgiving, and if you come up with
something gross, cucumbers and vinegar are cheap so you can try
again. You should experiment yourself to figure
out what suits your taste or memory.
Cucumber Salads: Most cucumber salads have cucumbers in vinegar.
You can add water to cut the acidity. Sugar
and salt are common too, add to taste.
Any herbs and seasonings you like can be added, including
dill, basil, oregano, garlic,
cilantro, rosemary, pepper, chives, chili powder, curry powder,
worchestershire sauce, tabasco sauce, plum sauce, fish sauce,
etc etc according to your taste. Just experiment to see what you like.
Other vegetables such as tomatoes, onions, peppers, shallots,
green onions, and jicama
are also common additions. For a twist, try adding fruits
such as watermelon, apple, orange, mango, or papaya.
If you want your salad to be creamy, add yogurt, sour cream, or mayonnaise. Just mix
to taste, but don't leave it in the fridge too long after adding the
Cucumber Sandwiches: The traditional English
consist of sliced cucumber on white bread spread with butter, with
the crusts cut off. Many
variations substitute cream cheese for butter, try whichever one you
like better. You can also add any herbs you like, try mixing them
into the cream cheese. You can also add thin slices of smoked salmon,
pickles, sandwich meat, or anything else your heart desires.
Q: Can I freeze cucumbers or cucumber salad?
A: I've heard back from some people who tried this, all with terrible
results. The cucumbers turn limp and mushy, and dewater quite a
bit. They should be enjoyed fresh.
Q: My grandmother used to cut the ends off the cucumber and rub
them together to draw out the bitter juices. What's up with this?
A: It is an old wives' tale. Really. Try it with 100 cucumbers
and not on another 100 if you don't believe me. Some cucumbers
can be bitter, especially at the ends, and you might want to cut off the
ends because of this. In particular, cut off the blossom end of
fresh cucumbers, as the blossoms contain enzymes that are bitter and others
that cause excessive softening of pickles.
You can draw out the bitterness in the rest
of the cucumber by slicing, salting, and draining it
before adding to a salad. This
works on the principle of osmosis. The principle of bitterness
spontaneously leaving the cucumber because you rubbed the end...
well, it does no harm, so do it if you want.
Q: I read that putting cucumber slices on your eyes/using cucumber
puree on your skin is a good
A:Cucumbers are common ingredients in a lot
of facial creams, masks, cleansers, etc. Cucumbers have a long
folk-medicine history of being
used as an astringent, or something that tightens your pores. Astringents
are good at soothing sunburns and acne and reducing the appearance of pores and
oily skin. In addition, cucumbers are usually cold from the refrigerator, and
so help to reduce swelling (like a cold compress) and are conveniently
the perfect size to put over your eyes. You can find some recipes for cucumber
here. Most preparations use cucumber in combination with another
astringent like lemon juice or rose water, but you can just use cucumber
puree on its own.
Q: I'm looking for cucumber extract to use in my facial lotion.
Where can I find some?
A: I did a search for "cucumber essential oil" on Google,
and here is a selection of web-based companies selling it:
cucumber essential oil.
Q: Where can I buy cucumber seeds?
A: Again, try doing a web search for
Q: My cucumber plant is droopy/yellow/bitter/unhappy. What do I do?
A: I have no idea, since I don't grow cucumbers, I just eat them.
My suggestion is to visit your local library and check out a book
on home gardening, or try calling your local Cooperative Extension.
Q: I am doing a report about cucumbers and I want you to do my research
for me. Please send me all your information and pictures, because
my report is due tomorrow.
A: No. All the information I have is posted, and the reference books I used
are fully cited, so you can go get them from your library. Might I suggest
also to beware of the Web while doing research in general. Anyone can post
anything, whether it is true or false, and you have no way to tell the
difference. Your local library has encyclopedias, gardening books, and
history books that will suit you much better. Also your librarian can
almost certainly help you find other sources of information as well.
Q: What is the world's record for largest cucumber?
A: 59 lbs, in 1988 in Australia. Sorry to everyone who were
saving their 5-lb backyard cucumbers, you'll just have to find a way
to eat it all!