Tuesday, July 7, 2015

So much pleasure

Things are moving fast. The tomato plants are being supported by a matrix of stakes, cages and ropes as their branches start to bow under the weight of all those maturing fruits. And, the plethora of flowers on the pepper plants makes me hopeful that I will be putting up plenty of chili sauce. For now, I am collecting cucumbers…cucumbers…cucumbers.

It always surprises me have prolific this sprawling vine is. With just two plants, today yielded over 10-pounds, and still quite a few were left still attached. Needless to say, cucumbers have been featured nightly. Still, the crisper is fill. A large jar of pickled cucumbers sits in the back of the refrigerator, and smaller gift jars have been passed out. Still the crisper is full. 

There are only so many you can put in a salad. I have served cold Cucumber/Sorrel Soup and Minted Cucumber Granite. But I have found that the smoothie I have been making, which is terrifically simple, while being extremely satiating can eat up a quick couple of pounds. Surprisingly, there is a good serving of dietary fiber in what is considered a water-saturated vegetable, and with approximately 20 calories per 8-ounces it is definitely a guilt-free gulp.

I know those leaves are going to brown sometime in September, and there will be a moment of loss, but I am determined enjoy the embarrassment of this plant’s generosity. I think tonight I make some cucumber kimchee.

Cucumber Smoothie - yields 2-quarts

2 pounds-cucumber
1/4 cup-lemon verbena leaves
1/2 cup-lemon juice

Peel, and seed the cucumbers (if they are small and have yet to develop a seed pocket do not bother removing the center pulp). Roughly chop the cucumbers.

Place lemon juice, lemon verbena and cucumbers into a blender, and process until completely smooth. It is advised to turn the blender on and off a couple of times to ensure that everything gets blended.

Chill the smoothie in the refrigerator, or serve over ice.