Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Cucumber Fruit Salad

Cucumber Fruit Salad
Dorcas Annette Walker

Cucumbers and squash have a way of multiplying in one’s garden. In fact in a good year one begins to feel like they are being overtaken by the vines and the abundance of produce, almost like a Jack in the Beanstalk effect. You pick all the ripen cubes only to find the vines loaded the next day. The solution is either to sell the extra, give away to neighbors and friends, or even resort to begging unless one is fortified with recipes and ideas. A family favorite was my grandmother, Annie Lehman’s, Old-Fashioned Cucumber Salad where you peeled and thinly sliced a couple cucumbers, added one cup of water, two tablespoons vinegar, one teaspoon salt, and one tablespoons sugar. I’ve even tried all kinds of pickles- if you ever want to enliven up a guest dinner just bring out a new experiment of pickles- until my pantry shelves were loaded with the lovely cubes. The problem is you can pickle your family to death so I always keep my eyes open to new recipes that involve cumbers. We were out on the road in a revival service up in Indiana, where my husband was preaching, when at the parsonage I tasted a different kind of salad that intrigued me. I couldn’t believe my ears when I found out that the main ingredient was cucumber. I immediately begged for the recipe and have used many times since.

Sour cream has become a staple in most kitchens. It is used to make quick dips, thicken sauces, and as toppings on baked potatoes etc. Sour cream is a dairy product rich in fats obtained by fermenting regular cream, which produces lactic acid souring the cream. Sour cream can be stored in the refrigerator for more than a month after the expiration date, but if any mold forms on the cream’s surface the entire container should be discarded. See my tip for extending the use of sour cream on my blogspot under cooking tips. Sour cream is used primarily in the countries of Europe and North America often as a condiment. In the Ukrainian and Russia sour cream is added to borscht and other soups, in Mexican cuisine it is used to cool hot pepper components, and Hungarians use it as an ingredient in their recipes for ham-filled crepes. Crème fraỉche is a French heavy cream slightly soured that can be mixed with air into whipped cream and cooked without curdling. Smetana is a variety of a much heavier sour cream used in Central and Eastern Europe that is blended in thick soups, served on a plate with boiled dumplings, or mixed in salads.

Cucumber Fruit Salad is a smooth-tasting summery salad that blends cucumbers with fruit. This light, yet filling, cold salad is quick and easy to make ideal for hot summer days. I’ve also served the Cucumber Fruit Salad in the winter to bring back a whiff of summer. The Cucumber Fruit Salad adapts to any type of simple or formal meal. This recipe takes around twenty minutes to prepare and serves ten.

Cucumber Fruit Salad

Peel, slice, and dice up 2 large cucumbers in a medium bowl.
Mix in:
1 diced red apple
2 c red grapes sliced in half
½ c nuts (your choice)

Mix together:
3 tb sugar
1 (16 oz) sour cream

Pour over chopped mixture and blend well. Chill and serve. May garnish with fresh fruit!

Dorcas Annette Walker is a freelance writer, author, columnist, and photographer from Jamestown, TN. If you have any cooking tips or favorite recipes you are welcome to contact me by mail at: Dorcas Walker, 929 Wildwood Lane, Jamestown, TN 38556 or email me at: dorcaswalker@yahoo.com. For more information about the Walker family and Dorcas’ books check out her website at: www.dorcasannettewalker.com or htpp://dorcasannettewalker.blogspot.com for other Creative Mountain Cookin recipes.


Dorcas Annette Walker said...

I enjoyed your cucumber salad recipe. Even though it was very delicious and is noted for it's ease of preparatoiin; I suggest that you add a cup of diced celrey for a little more zest and crunchiness. I used cashews for nuts.
Ted Leatherwood

Dorcas Annette Walker said...

That's a great idea. The neat thing about salads is that you can make them to your individual taste buds.
Thanks for sharing!

Dorcas Annette Walker said...

Another substitute is to use yogurt instead of the sour cream.

Dorcas Annette Walker said...

Tip: To keep the Cucumber Fruit Salad from getting watery be sure and run a spoon down the inside of the long cucumber slice to scoop out all the watery seeds and then once chopped place the cucumber slices on a paper towel for 20 minutes!