Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Quiz, the End, and Would That Be a Cucumber in Your Pocket?

Hodgepodge for today, my friends. This is POST #2 for this same day, so scroll down for POST #1.

My cousin, Emily, sent me a fantastic link from the New York Times about famous avid gardeners of the past. The article is very funny and if you look at the right side bar, there's additional blogs written for the newspaper about gardening. Here's the LINK. It's titled "Stalin's Flower Garden." Take the quiz before you cheat and peak at the answers and let me know how many you got correct because I'm feeling pretty stupid about now. :)

The garden here seems to be slowing, if not winding down. There are no new blossoms on the peppers, beans, cucumbers or eggplants for some time now, and we've already discussed the squash issue today. A week ago, the beans in the corner yard looked like this:

I guarantee they look much worse for wear now. As a matter of fact, I pulled out the purple beans in the side yard today. They had stopped producing some time ago, but I never had the chance to pull them out until today. That side box of beans was planted along side some "bush" cucumbers and a little yellow pear tomato. When I pulled out the beans, look what I found hiding in the foliage!!
HOLY GOODNESS they were huge! Together, they weighed in at over 1.5 lbs. Don't know if they'd taste good at all. Most likely they'll be seedy and bitter, but they're fun to look at. Kind of like a coffee table book, a conversation started if you will. OK, maybe not, but here's a picture of the rest of the buggers off the same vine that I found hidden in the beans:
Ridiculous, right? I just gave away several to one neighbor, then I left a surprise cucumbergram for another neighbor; yesterday I gave another lady four of them and now I've got four more to add to the three in the fridge, granted these may not be edible, though. I keep chanting to myself "this is a good problem to have, this is a good problem to have" kind of like the little engine that could. It's actually a FANTASTIC problem to have, and I can't be happier. I'd make more pickles, but honestly, we've never touched the ones we've made. We're not pickle eaters, but I do love a good cucumber sandwich. I have some beans and a squash to fetch from the garden today, but there's a few assassin bugs holding court around there and a very jealous bee hanging around the squash.

I've realized in typing this I have multiple questions for you, only one of which I've asked outright.

1) if you choose to take the quiz, let me know how you do.

2) Should I plant something where those purple beans were or let it be until the fall plantings?

3) Have any good cucumber recipes that don't include pickling?

DANG, here I go again. Should have broken this post up into several. Tomorrow I'll try to get pictures of the garden again.

The morning comes early. Sweet gardening dreams.


  1. Those big cucumbers look inedible, but still might be handy for some kind of dish. Maybe granny can give you some ideas on it. They would be some really big pickles, though!!

  2. I'm sure they are inedible. Maybe I'll work up the nerve to cut into one of them tomorrow. They're almost like some science experiment gone awry. HA! Just imagine the kid at the convenience store or grocery that goes into the barrel of pickles and pulls one of those bad boys out. That's the picture I'd like to see!

  3. Here's a recipe:
    1.Slice the cucumbers
    2.Pour some salt on them so they can "bleed" for awhile.
    3.Sprinkle pepper
    4.Pour some olive oil and vinegar
    5.Mix in a couple tbsp. of sour cream.
    6.Add some chives if you have any.
    7.Add a little water and mix it all together. It makes for a delicious salad.
    If you don't enjoy it, you can give it to me!

  4. My mom makes a type of sweet pickle that uses cukes like that (but if they're bitter, the pickles will be too). I have called them "ugly brown pickles" since I was in school, but they really are my favorites.

    Hmmm, my favorite kind of chocolate cake that my great aunt made when I was young was called "dirty wet cake", so maybe good food doesn't need a pretty name...

  5. I took the quiz, but I don't know how I did. Where are the answers?

    The best recipe for old cucumbers....the compost pile. You could probably make a pickle relish out of them. But you don't like pickles.

  6. You know its getting bad when you leave surprise "cucumbergrams". The neighbors will start avoiding you if they see you coming with cucumbers. Garden produce-good in the beginning, terrible by summers end!

  7. Thanks, Mom! I had forgotten about that one.

  8. Amy, you're too funny. Isn't it funny, the names we put to food as kids? I totally agree. Good food has no need for a tasty sounding name.

  9. The cucumber gram was met with mixed emotions being that I sent the boy to deliver them and he rang the bell and ran before they opened the door. They opened it expecting a prank, but found cucumbers instead. It was funny. If I take out the bush cucumbers on the side which look a little sad already, I can keep up with the cucumbers growing on the trellis. They seem to grow slower than the bush ones do.

  10. Those are some really big cucumbers you have there. When they get that big they make for some really good hot dog relish. Just skin them, de-seed them and grind into little bits.

  11. Excellent idea! Do you add anything to it?

  12. If I were you, and I'm not, because you are, I think I would substitute the big hurkin' cucumber for the zucchini in my "Pat's Zucchini Relish" recipe:

    It's a real sweet relish, but heaven on a hot dog. For me. You lean towards vinegar, while I go for sugar. Don't you know you can catch more flies with.....oh, nevermind. :-)