Thursday, July 17, 2008

The cucumber... My first plentiful harvest!

Last week, I had only faint signs of potential cucumbers. The female flowers had begun to make their appearance, and I was excited about the possibilities. Happily for me, when I came back from vacation, I found not one or two, but at least five large cucumbers growing in the garden. They were all a good size, and because I can't eat them all at once, I picked two of the largest cucumbers.

Below: This week's cucumber harvest

The cucumbers are a nice size, very long in length. I think the size is comparable to what you would find in the stores. But the taste is fresh and very strong. It has that cucumber taste from my childhood.

The cucumbers from the supermarkets taste watered down to me. Have any of you tasted the difference in fresh produce now (2008) compared to 10 years ago? I think I've tasted a big difference. Over time, I haven't noticed. It was only this summer, when I tasted my own vegetables, have a noticed the huge difference in flavor! Craziness, I tell ya!

Below: The many, many cucumbers that are growing at a rapid pace in my garden!

Below: The only stubbly cucumber I have... A different variety and growing rather slow. It's the only one of its kind, so far!

To accommodate the growth of these 'cukes, I've been eating cucumbers with every meal. I've been adding them to salads and just eating cucumber slices by the slice. And on top of that, I've been eating them with white rice and stir-fry. They feel so fresh and delicious! Anyone want one? :-)


Frances, said...

HI DP, great looking cucumbers. I think the ones from your own garden are a thousand times better than what is in the store. We have the same thing happening here, one day they are small on the vine, and then all of a sudden they are so long. I have a little stubby one too, just like yours. I may pull it up, I like the long ones better. I have been making cucumber and onion salad, we have home grown onions now too. I slice the cukes and onions, add a little olive oil and basalmic vinegar, salt and pepper all in a gallon baggie. Shake, chill and eat. I really like the cukes when they are smaller, but they and the squash are growing faster than we can eat them. Still waiting on the brandywine tomatoes to turn red. The whoppers and little tomatoes are plentiful though. Not enough for sauce yet.

Cindy said...

Your cucumbers look great. I found a volunteer cucumber plant growing with my beans. It has two stubby cukes on it, very small still. I hope they are fast growers like yours. Nothing beats a fresh cucumber (except maybe a fresh tomato). Haha

Skeeter said...

I am so happy for your crops! I know both our veggies were slow going at first, but look now! Wow two great looking cukes! The tiny one I posted about on Wednesday is so big now, does not look like the same one at all! Amazing how quickly they grow. If I had the time, I would snap a picture every hour on the hour. I bet I would get a good time lapse strip! Kind of like Kudzu! LOL....

We make Greek Salad. Cucumber, Tomato, Onion, Feta Cheese, Black Olive. Mix in Herb Rice Vinegar, Olive oil and Greek seasonings. Yum.... Instead of making your own dressing, you can use Newman’s Own Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing.

Okay, Frances and I have given you two meals to munch! Enjoy….

Eve said...

Yeah! there are here. My DH likes a combo of sliced tomatoes, cucumbers and sliced purple onions, with a TBS sugar and a TBS vinegar poured over. Let sit over night in fridge.

Dawn said...

Wow! Those are coming along nicely. Think of making bread + butter pickles? Can't beat fresh that's for sure.

Gail said...

Can you hear my applause? Wonderful. I love cukes and even stir fry them with other vegies!

Skeeter said...

You can stir fry Cucumbers? I have never heard that before. I thought they were too watery. I will have to give that a try!

DP Nguyen said...

Hi Frances, I like the long ones better too, but maybe the stubby one will be good for pickling. I think I may learn how to pickle because I have so many cucumbers... but they are very long, so maybe pickling them won't be the best idea. Maybe i'll slice them and pickle some. I may do that. Oh! and congrats on your onions. We grew onions too, but they are slow growers. Your salad sounds delish. I love home made balsamic vingrette. What are you goig to do with your abundance of squash? Maybe squash casserole?

Hi Cindy-Make sure to watch your cukes. They'll grow quicker than you think. One day, they'll be small. The next, they'll be huge and ready to pick!!! Fresh tomatoes and fresh cucumbers are my fav veggies!

Hi Skeeter- I love snapping pictures of my crops. Keeps a good online scrapbook, kinda. So I can see where they were last week and where they are today. It's fun. Your salad sounds delicious too. I love greek salad. It's my favorite kind. I have a hard time finding the right type of dressing. There are too many to choose from, and I normally aim for the organic kind. And yup, you can stir fry the cukes. Cam did that one day, but I didn't like it that much. Kinda bland to me.

Hi Eve-Oh yum! I'll have to try that!

Hi Dawn-What is bread and butter pickles? I have no idea how to make that! I'll have to look it up. Pickles are definitely on my agenda for later this summer.

Hi Gail! Thanks for the shout of enthusiasm! :-) I don't like stir-fry cukes as much as Cam does. I just like eating them cold and fresh. But stir-fry is always delicious! And I stir-fry very often!

Frances, said...

Hi again DP, with the squash I have been making ratatouille, kind of a vegetable stew with onions, peppers, garlic, squash and tomatoes, but you could put anything in it you want. I brown the onions in olive oil first, add the garlic for a couple of minutes then the rest of the veggies, diced large. I like it because it uses the garden stuff up and the proportions don't really matter, whatever you have on hand. It is great over pasta, rice, or chicken. Sometimes I dice leftover grilled chicken and add it. I usually give a little squirt of basalmic vinegar and maybe dried red pepper flakes. Ready for dinner yet?