Cucumbers were always my Lithuanian grandmother’s favorite vegetable. Every fall, she methodically began the natural process of canning the cucumbers she had been growing. She didn’t speak English, so explanations were primarily visual. My brother and I assisted her in this process from searching for large pickle jars to finding dill and other pickling spices and vinegar in the local markets, It was always great fun which helped to make the end of summer and going back to school more palatable.
Here we are again. The fall is upon us and the number of cukes, especially the warty yet delicious Kirby cukes, make the “dilling process” that much more exciting. Below are a series of recipes that easily enable us to take advantage of the riches that cucumbers bring us this time of year. The first is an easy canning process. Other recipes illustrate that cukes are delicious cooked or raw. And we also have to recognize that cucumbers are grown to be skinless like the European varieties and rough and warty like the Kirby’s. A third variety is called burpless to help digestion. The most recent varieties are promoted as having few seeds and thin skins which contain fiber, silica, magnesium and potassium. And since the silica is said to be good for the face, we find a double advantage in the kitchen and for facials. See Deborah Madison’s discussion of this research in Vegetable Literacy 2014. I personally enjoy the warty Kirby’s over the European’s because they are smaller, 3-4 inches, and easier to handle in the pickling process. Further, grocery store pickles are waxed to retard the process of losing moisture. So shopping at your farmer’s market or growing your own pickles avoids waxing which can’t be that good for us to begin with.
Pickling Made Easy
Yield: A gallon of pickles
Requires no special equipment, no canning experience and tastes just like refrigerated kosher dill pickles. Use gallon-size container.
• 15–25 Kirby cucumbers, 3-4 inches long
• 1/2 gallon cold water
• 1/2 cup cider vinegar
• 1 tablespoons mixed pickling spices
• 1/4 cup kosher salt
• 4 cloves garlic
• 4 fresh dill heads, or 4 tablespoons dried dill
1. Wash cucumbers but do not scrub them.
2. In a gallon-jar container, or 16-ounce ball jars, layer the dill or seed and garlic cloves.
3. In a large bowl stir together the remaining ingredients including the cucumbers.
4. Pour all of the ingredients (the brine) over the cucumbers in the container, taking care to make sure all of the cucumbers are fully submerged. If needed, place something heavy on the cucumbers to weigh them down and keep them under the brine—such as a small plate.
5. Cover the container with a lid or place a piece of cheesecloth over the jar with a rubber band
6. Leave out of direct sunlight on the counter for 2-4 days. Fix your lid tightly onto your jar or container and chill. These can be stored in the refrigerator for up to six months provided you keep them covered with brine.
7.Remove any foam on top of the brine with a spoon. Do the same attached to any cucumber. Remove those affected. And keep all pickles fully submerged. You have just created a wonderful, home-made specialty. Enjoy.
Baked Cucumbers—With Variations
By Julia Child, Mastering the Art of French Cooking (1961)
• 6 large cucumbers
• 1/4 cup white wine
• 11/2 teaspoons salt
• 1/8 teaspoon sugar
• 3 tablespoons melted butter
• 1/2 teaspoon dill
or 1/2 teaspoon basil
• 4 tablespoons minced scallions
• 1/8 teaspoon pepper
We are happy to report that we successfully met our goals for this summer of expanding programs, adding local trips and meeting new friends.
Center Members enjoyed a day at CitiField compliments of the New York Mets. Accommodations were made to make the day special and Center members gratefully anticipate being invited again next year! Let’s go Mets!
Here are a few other favorite eggplant recipes in Italian cuisine while others are more ethnically diverse. All of these delectables are easy to make and too delicious not to try yourself.
Residents were surprised to get tickets during the summer when they did not know schools were in summer session.
People know the difference between justice, and the law. Ticketing people who did not know school was in session is not just.
As fighting rages between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza, many of us find ourselves faced with questions and concerns. What can we do? How can we help? How can this horror go away?
These were the questions on people’s minds as Dr. Asaf Romirowsky, Middle East Analyst and Historian, spoke to a crowd of more than 100 people at the Mid-Island Y JCC in Plainview about the current Mid-East conflict.
India is the birthplace of eggplant. But seldom do we see Indian varieties. In fact, many people assume that eggplant, which is actually a fruit not a vegetable, comes from the English who originally thought of eggplant as having an ornamental virtue rather than a culinary one. Its beauty is not to be under estimated but the numbers of ways eggplant can be prepared to eat are virtually endless especially during the summer months. And the more I explore this lovely fruit, the more I appreciate the multicultural possibilities.
However, the discovery that the fruit contained an alkaloid was thought to aggravate gout and arthritis. People with these conditions were even told not to eat eggplants.
I am writing to correct the inaccuracies of Frances Leone’s letter to the editor in the Enterprise-Pilot issue dated Aug. 13. Ms. Leone is correct that it is important to respect all living creatures. We can agree on that as we have the same belief. However, her accusations that Frank M. Flower’s harvesting methods are killing horseshoe crabs and other marine life is simply not true. Let me set the record straight because the numerous falsehoods that Ms. Leone, a select group of Baymen and those that are their followers are spreading only makes for an air of panic and hysteria in the community which is not based on scientific facts.
(Below is a copy of a letter written to the pastor of the Community United Methodist Church of East Norwich)
I am a local realtor in the East Norwich/Oyster Bay area, my office Laffey Fine Homes is in fact around the corner from your church and school. This past winter I decided to enroll my now 2-year-old daughter in the Wesley School so that while I was working I would be nearby in case of illness or emergency. Since we do not live locally, my husband and I thought that was our best option. I enrolled my daughter in summer camp and for school in September on Feb. 27. On that day I wrote a check to the Wesley School for $555 (for summer camp and for a school deposit). In the recent publication in the Oyster Bay-Enterprise Pilot it was stated that parents were notified in December and again in April that the plans for the installation were definite. I was never made privy to any of this information, even though we were already registered for summer camp and school. Again when camp started there was no mention of the school closing.
Friends of the Bay regrets that readers of the Enterprise-Pilot may have been misled by Frances Leone’s letter to the editor in the August 13, 2014 edition. The author of that letter does not represent nor speak for this organization.
There were a number of inaccuracies in the letter, as well as assertions not supported by data.
Friends of the Bay has taken no position with regard to the allegation that mechanical harvesters used by the Frank M. Flower & Sons shellfish farm cause widespread harm to marine life.
Zucchinis are easy and fun to grow. In fact, our family was always offering these vegetables to friends and neighbors. But it wasn’t always easy to give them away in late August since everyone had a surplus of the ever-present summer squash available to them. And this is why cookbooks like the 50-year-old Italian cookbook, The Silver Spoon, recently translated into English in the United States, includes 37 zucchini recipes and six for zucchini flowers.
I have always been attracted to zucchinis in part because of their plentifulness, but also because of the almost magical way in which they can grow. It seemed they could double in size overnight. And while I never grew a zucchini three meters long, they say it is possible and likely if the conditions are just right. I remember dreaming as a child that our crop was going to grow up to our home and invade us. My mother told me if this happened we would just make more soup for family, friends and neighbors. My scary dreams disappeared.
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