Every August, strands of sweaty hair stuck to my brow and arms dotted with peach splatters and tomato seeds, I vow that I hate summer. But you know what? June and July aren’t half bad! It’s getting hot, sure, and I’m busy, of course, but the produce is coming in the door at an even enough pace that I’m not frantically stepping on the kids toes running from garden to sink to stove to, “Oh good gracious, I’m out of sugar! Jump in your car seats! We must go to the store NOW!”
Pretty soon, that’s what I’ll be doing. Maybe I should just buy a 50 pound bag of sugar. That ought to last me. But it’s not just sugar. Seems I also never have salt, pectin and vinegar, either. Last week I did have to make a special vinegar run for making some pickles. I DO NOT like making special grocery store runs when there are bushels of rotting fruit on my dining room table.
Can you tell I’m dreading August?
Anywho, let’s have a nice, relaxing salad, shall we? Another “Summer’s Essence” salad. Cool cucumbers paired with plump tomatoes all swimming in a sweet dressing. It takes no time to throw this together for supper. What I like even better is that if I have a break mid-afternoon, I can slice up the cucumbers and put them in the fridge and then last minute, all hurry scurry like, just plunk the bowl on the table and beat in some dressing and a handful of chopped tomatoes and that’s a side dish. It goes very well with corn on the cob.
It’s best to slice up your cucumbers and onions a little while before you assemble the salad. When you mix them with the salt, a lot of water collects in the bowl. I squeeze this juice out before adding my dressing to keep it from being to watery. Here is what the cukes look like prior to their rest:
My mom’s recipe
3 8-inch cucumbers, half of the peels removed
1 tiny red onion
1/2 t salt
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 T cider vinegar
2 T cane sugar
1 – 2 large tomatoes, chunked
I use my mandoline, set at slightly less than 1/16th of an inch, to slice my cucumbers. This salad is not the same with chunky cucumbers.
So, thinly slice your cucumbers and onion. Mix them with the salt and let them sit in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes, but I prefer 2 hours. Drain them and squeeze out as much juice as you can. Be sensible, though. You don’t want to squeeze the life out of them.
Just before serving, mix in the mayo, vinegar, and sugar. Stir in the tomato. Serve immediately as it just gets more watery as it sits.
Yield: 4 cups (my little family easily eats this whole bowl…we love it)