It’s been just flat out hot here in the San Diego area for the last couple of weeks. So hot that we just don’t want to cook and heat up the kitchen. So hot, we don’t look at the weather forecast on TV.
Way back in the ancient days of the late 1950’s and early 1960’s we lived in a little house on the southside of Tampa, Florida. I was just a youngster a little on either side of the whopping old age of 10.
My Mom had a couple of “go-to” dishes that I remember well from all those years ago that she would make in the perpetual hot and muggy climate of Tampa summers back in the days before there was any air-conditioning.
When you’re a kid, you spend your days running around outside during summer vacation. It doesn’t matter that it’s 95 degrees with 95% humidity every day. You run around in shorts and no shirt and just as often barefoot. You don’t notice it. That’s fine and dandy when you’re 10 but when you’re 60 it’s a pain in the butt.
To a Mom and housewife spending each day on chores like never-ending laundry and making dinner every night, hot is hot and muggy is even hotter. So from time to time Mom would make cold tuna noodle salad served with saltines. I still make and love that dish when it’s hot.
And she made something else I still enjoy—homemade refrigerator cucumber pickles. Super simple. Chilled in the ‘fridge. And they’ll cool you down when you eat ‘em. Crisp, cool, tangy from the vinegar, a bit of crunch from onion. They’ll cool you down from the inside out on a hot day.
And they’re super simple to make. Here’s how:
Summary: When it’s hot these will cool you down. Easy to make, cold, crisp, tangy and sweet. Give ‘em a try.
- Get out your cutting board, chef’s knife and a storage container.
- Peel the cucumber (leave a bit of skin on in narrow stripes)
- Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise. Then cut it into “half discs” about 1/8” thick.
- Cut the onion in half and then cut thin “half-rings” and cut each half-ring in half.
- Put the onion and cucumber in the container.
- Now mix the vinegar, water, sugar, salt and pepper together thoroughly.
- Pour it over the onion and cucumber.
- Put the lid on the container and put it in the fridge for at least 2 hours, preferably 4-6 before serving.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 8
Wasn’t that easy to make? You can put a small mound of these on a plate and just eat it like a salad. You can put ‘em on top of a burger or on a sub sandwich.
And they’re tasty! A bit of crunch. A taste of tangy, a bit of sweet, a hint of pepper heat. There’s all kinds of stuff going on in your mouth. And speaking of your mouth…it’ll cool it down which will cool you down on those days when it’s “butt stinkin’ hot”.
The Cheap Bastid Test: How much is a cucumber? Let’s say about $1 and the onion cost maybe $.50. Vinegar adds $.50, water is free, and you already have sugar, salt and pepper. Total cost: 2-bucks max.
That’s the Cheap Bastid Way: Eat Good. Eat Cheap. Be Grateful!