Cucumbers are easy and fun to grow and they are a very special ingredient in many salad dishes. They can be the star attraction as well. So plant some cucumbers and watch them change into tasty, delicious mealtime ingredients. You won’t regret the experience of gardening with cucumbers and your taste buds will truly thank you.

Here are a few ways to prepare those mighty fine additions to any meal: Cucumber and Onion Salad (Always tastes better the next day) 4 cucumbers, peeled and sliced very thinly 2-1/2 onions, sliced 1-1/4 cup sour cream 1-1/2 tsp. seasoned salt 1/2 tsp. pepper Combine all ingredients, making sure that the cucumbers are well coated. Cover and place in refrigerator overnight. Line plates with lettuce leaves and spoon salad over. Garnish with finely chopped parsley, mint leaves, or dill. So fine!

Have 6 medium cucumbers, and peel smoothly. Cut in half lengthwise. Cut around the pulp and remove the seeds very carefully. Marinate the cucumbers in French Dressing for 1/2 hour and drain well. Fill the cucumbers with your favorite salad-chicken, tuna, turkey, shrimp, etc. Nicely round out the tops. Sprinkle some finely chopped parsley on the ends. Spread a dab of mayonnaise over the top. Place two vegetable flowers on top, cut from beets, carrots, or use narrow strips of green peppers for stems and tiny pieces of a bell pepper as the flower (yellow or red). On lettuce-lined plates, place your cucumber boat and add tomato slices on the side or a few slices of fresh fruit wedges (cantaloupe, some grapes, or watermelon). You’re set to sail to some great reviews!

Hot Cukes: Peel a few cucumbers. Cut in half lengthwise and discard the seeds. Brush with French Dressing and let stand, covered, in a refrigerator, for about one-half hour. Prepare two plates, one with flour for dredging, and one with an egg wash, with garlic or onion salt instead of regular salt. Drain cucumbers and then dip in wash, then in flour. Saute very gently and carefully in hot oil about 4-5 minutes or until golden and crisp. Drain and serve with grilled fish or steak. Hot and tasty!

However you serve your garden-fresh cucumbers, you’ll have a tasty, refreshing addition to any meal. ENJOY! ©Arleen M. Kaptur 2002 July

Arleen Kaptur may be contacted at . Click here to view more of their articles. Author of books and articles on living a simple, rustic lifestyle - and getting the most from each and every day. Websites:

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