|Iced Refrigerator Cucumber Salad - a tart and crisp cucumber salad.|
Iced Refrigerator Cucumber SaladI'm not quite ready to let go of the summer and start up with fall recipes. Oh, I'm definitely ready to bid summer goodbye alright. To walk outside and feel that fresh, crisp fall air, the kind that sends a quick chill down your spine and requires at least a light sweater. I'm ready to turn off the air conditioner and get some relief from those high summer cooling bills. Maybe even open the windows and let fresh air flow through the house and put on a pot of hearty soup or chili. That's sure to be awhile yet here in The Deep South.
Our temperatures have dropped some - low 90s and high 80s - which in Deep South weather terms is practically fall. I don't know if it's because it's getting worse, or I'm just getting older, but this summer's heat and humidity has really been rough on me.
Since January of this year, it's also been one thing after another turning our normally quiet lives into a virtual whirlwind of activity. First a big surgery for me, and then, after shopping house sales for several months before that, we found the perfect house with everything we wanted, bought it, and, except for a little help from Dad with a couple of the larger appliances, The Cajun and I did all of the physical moving ourselves... with only our Mustang and F150, breaking all the doctor's post-surgery rules about lifting and physical activity.
We then renovated the old house to sell, then listed and shockingly sold it in under a week, closing a month and a half later A few bouts with viruses going around, including pink eye that lasted a full 12 days, and then, school started for the grandkids. The two oldest are spending the afternoons after school with us now, so only the youngest is in daycare, and the pace of the busy year just hasn't let up yet.
One of the biggest selling points for our new house was that it was right around the corner from the kids and that has made all the difference in our ability to spend much more time with them and help out my son and daughter in law a little more too. Posting here at Deep South Dish has been a bit on the slow side lately but that's perfectly okay with me because The Cajun and I have been super busy with the grandkids and it seems like the day is gone shortly after it starts. I totally sympathize with all of you moms out there (and I'm still trying to figure out how any of y'all manage to blog at all!) This week we've been helping with getting the kids to some of their after school activities too. It's busy, but I sure am loving it.
Anyway, a reader and I were recently discussing an iced cucumber salad her mother used to make which I felt was this refrigerator salad, so I decided to make it myself! A similar version was circulating the internet a year or two ago, and it's just another variety to keep in mind among the many other ways we enjoy cucumbers, all year round really, but most especially when they are in abundance and fresh out of the garden. This version is much more tart than most of the cucumber salads we enjoy in The South, traditionally having little to no sugar, though, of course you may adjust that to your own taste. I personally prefer it with a little bit of sugar, but as written, it is more tart than sweet. Increase the sugar as you like.
I have also made this salad with the cucumbers sliced thin on a mandolin, adding a half a large bell pepper, sliced thin, as well as thin sliced red onion instead of sweet, and even no onion, and it's good all of those ways. Add a half teaspoon each of pickling spices, celery seed, mustard seed and crushed red pepper flakes, to taste, to the vinegar mixture if you like - boil then cool. After the 24 hour marinating period, transfer your salad with the liquid into Mason jars to keep it more visible. This will keep for awhile in the fridge - not that it will last that long.
|Doubled recipe using thinly sliced cucumbers and bell pepper transferred to Mason jars after the 24 hour icing.|
Peel and slice cucumbers about 1/4 inch thick. If you're using homegrown cucumbers, you may leave the peeling on, but grocery store cukes have a wax coating on them to keep them pretty and help to preserve them, so peel those. Add half of the cucumbers in the bottom of a covered storage bowl, sprinkle with half of the salt and top with half of the onions, and bell pepper if you're using it. Repeat layers.
Whisk together the vinegar and sugar; beat in 2 of the ice cubes until melted.
Pour over the cucumbers. Crush remaining ice. I use my Ninja system. Love, love, love that machine! Course, if you don't have one, crush the ice however you can. I can remember piling up ice cubes in one of Mama's clean kitchen towels on these hot summer days and beating it with a metal meat tenderizer to crush it. Sometimes it was to pour a Coke over the top of, sometimes it was just to eat the ice. Hey whatever it takes to keep cool in South Mississippi y'all.
Layer crushed ice over the top.
Refrigerate for 24 hours, drain, reserving the liquid, and serve.
Repack any leftovers in a Mason jar, top with the reserved liquid and refrigerate.
Recipe: Iced Refrigerator Cucumber Salad©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Inactive time: 24 hours | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings
- 2 extra large cucumbers
- 1 cup of packed sliced Vidalia or other sweet onion
- 1/2 tablespoon of kosher salt
- 1 cup of white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar, or to taste
- 3 cups of ice cubes (about one tray)
Peel and slice cucumbers about 1/4 inch thick. Add half of the cucumbers in the bottom of a covered storage bowl, sprinkle with half of the salt and top with half of the onions. Repeat layers. dividing cucumbers, salt and onion in at least 2 layers. Whisk together the vinegar and sugar; beat in 2 of the ice cubes until melted. Pour over the cucumbers. Crush remaining ice and layer over the top. Refrigerate for 24 hours, drain, reserving liquid, and serve. Repack any leftover salad in a Mason jar with reserved liquid and refrigerate.
Cook's Notes: Recipe may be successfully doubled. Substitute sliced red onion if you prefer. Also good with sliced sweet bell pepper added as well as a half teaspoon each of pickling spices, celery seed, mustard seed and crushed red pepper flakes, to taste, added to the vinegar mixture. Boil, then cool before pouring over the salad. After the 24 hour marinating period, transfer your salad with the liquid into a Mason jar to keep it more visible. Keeps well in the refrigerator.
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©Deep South Dish
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