Saturday, August 1, 2015

Summer Surplus Cooking

There comes a few times every summer when I have far more of something than I know what to do with.  Last year it was zucchini and we had some kind of zucchini as a side dish for every meal until I wanted to cry at the very sight of a zucchini growing on the plant.  This year strangely enough my zucchini has done nothing.  My squash plants are being very considerate and giving me the perfect about at decent intervals.  My cucumbers, however, did not get the memo.  Add in the fact that I'm really the only person in my house that likes cucumbers and every one else I know has more than enough of my own and I have far more than I know what to do with!

So I pulled out my copy of Favorite Recipes with Herbs which is a book I really should use more than I do.  This is a great book to have on hand if you have a garden and/or herb garden.

This time this recipe for Sweet and Sour Cucumbers saved the day:

3 medium cucumbers
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced parsley
1.  Peel cucumbers, and then score them lengthwise with a fork.  Slice very thin.  Put on paper towels and blot dry.
Mix together sugar, vinegar, water, salt, pepper, and parsley.  Add cucumbers and toss lightly.
Chill for several hours before serving.

I basically followed the recipe.  I cut it into thin disks and didn't worry too much about scoring it and I put the cucumber slices into a mason jar, mixed up everything else, poured it over the cucumbers.  Then I put the lid on and gave it a gentle shake and put it in the refrigerator.  It's been a great side dish with just the right amount of tang.  Plus it's pretty!

If you have a ton of cucumbers this is definitely worth trying!  It's super easy to make, easily doubled and tastes great with a full meal or a quick lunch.

Then came the peach orchard incident.  I'm very lucky that I live about 15 minutes away from two fantastic orchards.  And last week I visited both.  I had this dream of making peach preserves but it didn't quite happen which left with a pile of peaches that were heading past ripe faster than we could eat them.
So of course I headed over to Pinterest to see what peach deliciousness I could find.  First up was this recipe for Peach Drop Cookies from Bake or Break.  I was a little surprised that you diced in the peaches and added them into the dough but these turned out SO good!  They're light with a really nice cake-y texture and just the right amount of juicy peachness.  I ended up using 1/2 peach preserves and 1/2 apricot preserves because I ran out of peach and it worked really well.

I'm linking up with Weekend Cooking hosted by Beth Fish Reads


  1. I think people always end up with way more zucchini than planned! I love it but when you get a bountiful harvest it can be too much. Peaches would be amazing, you are so lucky you live near orchards. I like to bake peaches, halved, with a bit of honey, vanilla and cinnamon in them. They always turn out so good, and fairly healthy.

    I like your cookie recipe. That's an refreshing change from our usual chocolate chip.

  2. When I got married, I literally couldn't even boil a noodle, (lol), so I found myself watching cooking programs and picking up cookbooks. In addition to being a total Book Nerd, I collect cookbooks, some dating back to the 60's where you can really see the difference in cooking styles. I really like your recipe because it looks simple and sounds tasty. Will definitely save and give it a try. Hugs and Super Saturday to you! Ro

  3. My mom used to make something similar to that and we all gobbled it up. I'll have to try that recipe.

  4. Oh man,both of those sound delicious. I don't have a garden but I do like cucumbers so maybe I'll but some and try the recipe. That herb cookbook sounds like a great resource.

  5. Oh I must give that cuke recipe a try. I made peach crisp this morning but those cookies might be the treat for next weekend

  6. How can you not like cucumbers? They're like water and delicious and go with anything. Maybe you could sell a few at a farmers market? Lol. Good thing you like to try new recipes. I have no doubt you'll find a use for all your cucumbers.

  7. I love cucumbers!! I pickled some veggies yesterday and almost did some cucumbers, but it was my first time to pickle anything so I only did onions, bell peppers and cherry tomatoes. Next time I'll add cucumbers.

  8. A great quick and easy recipe! My cucumber plant did not do well, only got 2 cucumbers. Growing vegetables here can be e tricky.

  9. Thanks for the cucumber recipe-- I have changed my mind about liking them in the last few years, and like to buy the mini organic ones that come in a bag in the produce section, because they are more tender and taste very good. I don't have a garden :(

    I slice them up & halve them, then put them in a bowl with halved cherry tomatoes (usually the yellow ones) and sprinkle a sweet basalmic vinagarette (think I spelled that wrong, lol) over it, let it sit for awhile, then sprinkle with finely grated Parmesan when serving. Yummy light summer lunch. You can even throw in mini chunks of your favorite cheese for a more substantial salad meal. Enjoy!

  10. My glut is currently rosemary - which has such a strong flavour! Cheers from Carole's Chatter!

  11. My dad loves this, he can eat it all the I just call it cucumber stuff. :)

  12. These sound delicious - especially the peach cookies. I have such a sweet tooth!

  13. Oh my gosh. Sounds a lot like what we do for Cucumber Salad. We do lemon juice instead of vinegar and chives instead of parsley. SO good! Make it for near every holiday and that stuff disappears quick.

    I need to cook more with fresh herbs. I grow them but then don't know quite what to do with it all.

  14. I love the sound of this. I'm not a huge fan of cucumber until you add vinegar. Malt vinegar is what I generally use - it always reminds me of childhood.

  15. Oh, yum! This looks like a great cookbook - everything tastes better with fresh herbs. We don't have our own garden but belong to a CSA, where we go to a local farm each week to pick up our share of whatever produce was harvested that week. So, there are runs of things there, too - this spring we got a cucumber that was the size of a baseball bat! lol

    Thanks for the tip - this cookbook looks worth a look!


    2015 Big Book Summer Challenge

  16. These recipes sound so good. And I love sweet and sour cucumbers, but didn't really have the proportions down so I will use that. We didn't have a garden this year (not even herbs), but it's still a great time of the year to get these things at a farmer's market or the store.