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Summer Memories: Cucumber Salad

Summer Memories: Cucumber Salad

Okay.  Before we get started, let me confess that this one isn’t from Grandma’s box.  But when some Farmer’s Market cucumbers found their way into my kitchen, I knew I had to make my dad’s cucumber salad!  One of my favorite summer food memories is watching Dad make his salad dressing for the cukes that came out of our garden.  He would make a big batch at the beginning of the week and use it for cucumbers and all his garden salads in general.  Truth be told, this is the kind of lick-your-plate-clean kind of good that’s good with pretty much everything!

I don’t know exactly where the recipe originally came from.  I think Dad saw a recipe somewhere and tweaked it enough over the years until he could call it his own, lol.

Dad’s Homemade Salad Dressing/Dip

  • 3 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp white vinegar
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp dry mustard (or ½ Tbsp quality prepared mustard)
  • 3 Tbsp pickled onion juice (or pickle juice)
  • Dill to taste.

Mix all the ingredients into a medium bowl and whisk until well combined.

I didn’t have any dry mustard, so I used some spicy Dijon mustard.  I found that I really liked the little bite it gave and will probably increase the mustard to a full Tbsp next time.  Pour desired amount of dressing over sliced cucumbers and let chill for about an hour before serving.

This recipe makes about 2 cups in total, but don’t expect it to last more than a couple of days … maybe a week, tops.  And if you’re anything like me, you might even find yourself going back to the fridge to take a spoonful every now and then. 🙂

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2012 in Eureka!!!

 

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Uh, I’m Gonna Say … Waffles??

Again, I chose another recipe blindly. And another – one of many, it seems – that has neither a name nor instructions listed. Only a list of ingredients. I could tell it was some kind of baked item. Perhaps biscuits, I thought … but the ratio of wet to dry ingredients wasn’t right. And it wasn’t cake or cookies either because it only called for a tablespoon of sugar (at least that’s what I think the recipe meant). The amount of baking powder told me it was something that was meant to rise a lot, but it had too many eggs to be pancakes. That leaves … waffles. At least, that’s how I decided to interpret the recipe. That was just fine by me, because I love waffles! 😀

As much as I love waffles, however, the absolute BEST thing about this particular recipe is that it was written on the back of an envelope addressed to my father’s sister, the original 2¢ stamp still on the front, and a postmark dated 1963. To me, this was more than just a recipe – it’s a piece of my family history.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp margarine
  • ½ Tbsp sugar

Since 3 cups of flour sounds like A LOT, I decided to cut the recipe in half. I mixed all the ingredients together as I would a regular waffle recipe. I remained true to the recipe with the small exception of adding a little salt.

What I ended up with was very thick batter – almost what I would expect for making muffins.

I thought I must have interpreted the recipe wrong, so I took a good long look at it again. And then I saw it – right at the very top was what looked to be a faint impression of the word “waffles” that had been almost completely worn away. I had gotten it right, and regardless how the waffles actually turned out, this was turning into quite a find!

I went ahead and put the waffle batter into my Belgium waffle maker and cooked for 4 minutes.

I wanted to taste the waffle right away, but anyone who knows Russian Mennonite waffles, knows they always come with “White Sauce”. I looked through Grandma’s recipe box for such a recipe but found nothing, so I used my own.

(White Sauce, for those uninitiated, is a homemade warm vanilla pudding that’s served over waffles. There are several versions out there, but mine is adapted from the Mennonite Treasury of Recipes)

WHITE SAUCE FOR WAFFLES:

  • ¼ cup waffle batter
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 cups milk

Whisk all ingredients together in a medium sauce pan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Let it come to a boil and take off heat. Serve sauce over waffles.

In the end, the waffles themselves weren’t great (I actually prefer my own recipe over this one). But what an amazing discovery the written recipe was in itself. I’ll definitely treasure this one!

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2012 in Meh ...

 

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