When I was making my list of summer "must-haves" before waning August days try to steal our joy, I neglected the Grand Pooh-Bah of Summer Foods: Cucumbers and Onions in Vinegar.
Something about that tangy, always-makes-you-sneeze, vinegar and water combination that the cukes and onions soak in to give them their flavor bespeaks of a scorcher summer day.
Cucumbers and Onions (some people throw in a chopped-up tomato for a little color and taste alternative) couldn't be simpler to prepare, yet until now, when I'm my making list and checking it twice about what not to neglect before summer draws to a close, it hadn't occurred to me--we hadn't indulged in this one yet.
How could I overlook it, since it bears a place of honor in my new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden? It's a featured recipe as I describe my cousin Lynda's surprise wedding to her prince, George, and the memorable barbecue meal that followed.
Our cousins Bill and Jana brought Cucumbers and Onions fresh from their garden to serve at the lunch, which featured Mesquite Barbecue from the popular Mesquite eatery that our Uncle Herbert founded and where he became legendary for his Oyler Pit. (The recipe below can be attributed to Bill and Jana.)
It was a perfect complement for that barbecue, although last night at dinner it also went wonderfully well when Hubby and I dined on Cabbage Sloppy Joes (in a future blog I'll write more about that splendid recipe.) And yes, as if to pronounce Cucumbers and Onions in Vinegar a hit, Hubby graced it with a big sneeze as the pepper and the eau de tangy brine tickled his nostrils.
Hubby is bummed that our cucumber supply, despite all the vast, leafy vines that covered a portion of the garden, wasn't voluminous this year. It's on his 2011 Garden Resolutions list for next summer--a better cucumber patch.
But the few we have remaining we plan to enjoy down to the last tiny morsel floating in the vinegar-and-water sea. Summer, last just a little longer so we can enjoy all your good foods.
Cucumbers and Vinegar in Oil
2-3 medium cucumbers
1 medium onion
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon salt(we use salt substitute)
pepper to taste (the more you can stand, the better)
Peel cucumbers and slice horizontally. Slice onions crosswise. Put cucumbers and onions in a bowl. Pour vinegar and water over them. Stir to mix. Chill several hours before you serve. Serves 6-8.