Friday, July 18, 2008

Cucumber Towers

Cucumber Towers and an Apologetic Admission....
And now I will admit why I owe my sister Heidi a big tray of chocolate glazed oatmeal bars (scroll down if you missed that recipe): My husband and I are on day four of a lovely trip through the Canadian Rockies. That's right, just me and Quiet Man, on a quiet trip through a quiet part of a quiet lovely country. Ah, peace and quiet. But.....Poor little sister Heidi. She's watching my two children while we are away listening to all the quiet. Both of my charges are loud and one of them is especially boisterous and also a bit on the cuckoo side. I won't tell you which one, but he is five and he is male and he would rather carry a light saber than learn addition. Do you think Heidi will be OK? She has her own light saber toting five year old male (remember we were pregnant together) and he is every bit as cuckoo as mine, only they are both synergisticly more so when together. I can't be certain that they will ever come in doors or dry off or speak anything resembling English this week. Poor, poor Heidi. Maybe I should make her two trays of chocolate oatmeal bars.
As part of our quiet trip through the Rockies, we stopped at a small independently owned cucumber farm just outside of Edmonton, Alberta. The gracious farmer and his accommodating wife let us look around the facility and poke our camera through the greenhouse. They specialized in my favorite variety, the English cucumber, which is thin skinned and crunchy and virtually seedless. Crisp and refreshing, they're perfect for plain eating and for raw recipes. Just don't use them for pickles, as they tend to be a little mushy since their thin skin doesn't offer much resistance.
For a refreshing appetizer or light lunch, peel (or not) a cucumber and cut it into small sections, between two and four inches long. Hollow out the center with a small spoon, being careful not to cut through the bottom. You're half way there to making a pretty and clever little cucumber tower. I'll make some of these for Helper Heidi, too. And anything else in the world that she wants.
Cucumber Towers:
Estimated Cost: $2.00
Fill the cucumbers with any of the following:
cottage cheese and cilantro
cream cheese mixed with feta and mint
blue cheese, chopped walnuts and plain yogurt
hummus and paprika
chopped tomatoes,olive oil, and basil
mango, jalapeno, cilantro and lime juice
black olive tapenade
potato salad
egg salad
chicken or lobster salad
or try your own favorite dip
Two little love bird cucumbers.... Don't they look like an old married couple? Or is it young newlyweds? All I know is that I feel like both on this 13 year old second honeymoon of mine.
Coming Tomorrow:
Tuscan Travel Sandwich


gigi said...

Aren't sisters wonderful!!
Hope you continue to have a wonderful parents trip. We all need those kinds.
Love "cumbers" as the grand kids say!

Lisa said...

What a great sister you have! Enjoy your vacation! The cucumbers look adorable.

Katherine Aucoin said...

Glad you're enjoying your vacation. The cucumbers are a great idea and so refreshing during these hot days of summer.

Pamela said...

I'm sure your kids are having a blast! Enjoy your time alone together.

Sharon said...

Hope you're enjoying the peace and quiet!

I'd love to stuff those cucumbers with some hummus. Great idea!

Anonymous said...

I hope you continue to have a wonderful vacation. It's so nice to get away for a while, fall in love again... and create beautiful memories.
~The Cat's Pajamas

Jenny said...

Those little cucumber towers are sooo cute! I love those garden shots too!

Enjoy your vacation!

Anonymous said...

I thought those were shakes! They look so cool and refreshing! I want to try it with the feta and cream cheese!
BTW-we ate your minestrone this week and Annabelle proclaimed, "I DO like vegetables! She loved the onions, zucchini, and carrots, what a fun way to eat veggies!

Marie said...

I love cucumbers. You are so lucky to have a sister like that and I say you should bake her 3 trays of those bars and then decide at the last minute that it's overkill and then ship one of them over to me . . . just because I'm cute. (well, I thought it sounded like a good idea anyways!) I used to live just outside of Edmonton. Great city! I Hope that you continue to have a wonderful time with your honey. I'm off on hols tommorrow with mine! I won't have internet access though so boo hoo, I will have to catch up on all your recipes after I get back!

Anonymous said...

Prudence..I guess that's what we call you these days, Heidi is doing a great job. Gigi- sisters are wonderful, and Lisa, yes what a great sister Prudy has, and Pamela, the kids are having a great time, and somehow the teeter totter wound up on the trampoline for a fabuolus inventive jump teeter machine, And me as the husband to the wonderful sister, I enjoy sitting back , and scratching my head, and waiting for the little ones to sleep so I can go into the corner of my room , fall to the featle position and cry myself to sleep, proclaiming in thunderous voice, Where is that Prudy???? Truth be told we are having a wonderful time. Last night we went to the Library, snow cone shack; got snow cones from a teenager who was not wearing a hair net, and ate snow cones outside the karate do jo as we mocked the sinsai and his dancing ninjas. Enjoy, and p.s. Heidi and I have a hot date Saturday night...Poor mary.

Allie said...

I love the idea of cucumber as little shooters. Would make for a great easy appetizer for a party, but looks so fancy.

Enjoy your vacation!

Holly said...

Those look so pretty and elegant. I'm sure you are enjoying your trip - it is such a beautifuk area!

Clumbsy Cookie said...

I find it great that you still manage to post while in vacation! Your family souds wonderful and you enjoy your quiet time with your quiet man!

Mary Ann said...

My kids love cucs! Those look lovely. I think I just realized who you are. Cool! :) Have fun!

Sophie said...

Oh how fun :)! I love how often you mention the word quite. I don't have any kiddos yet, but I do have a younger brother who is 12 years younger than I am and he was full of energy and spunk too :). Hope you're enjoying your trip -- that cucumber is huuuge, and I love how you prepared yours! Very summery, indeed.

Lore said...

I'd give anything for a sister like yours :) That cucumber pic looks so cute! Have a wonderful time

Debinhawaii said...

I love the cucumber cups! Great idea! Hope the vacation is fun!

Tanji said...

We are an English Cucumber loving family! My kids will just snap them in half, give them a quick rinse and gobble them up. I remember when you two little love-bird cukes got engaged. Aahhhh. How sweet. I hope you are having a fantasticly quiet, relaxing, and adventurous trip filled with yummy Canadian food (uh, is that an oxymoron . . .you'll have to fill us in when you get back) :) Happy anniversary!

Kevin said...

These cucumber towers are a great idea!

webbie said...

Just wanted you to know that your cucumber towers became a key element in my BB this week. Thanks for the idea!