Throwback recipe: Creamed cucumbers

3/24/2014 07:08:00 AM
So my Grandma is cool.

She took care of a huge yard and a boatload of grandchildren and could play a wicked game of Aggravation.  She wasn't a sit-around-and-knit kind of little lady (though she crocheted oddly-colored afghans); she has always been a mover and a shaker. Even today.

This is exactly how I remember the Aggravation game at my Grandma's.
Did I mention that she taught us to bet 10 cents a game? She also taught me how to play Kino.

Her yard was vast with freshly trimmed and squared hedges and winding stone paths that were ideal for big wheel driving. She had a lovely swing, a pear true, a peach tree and incredible raspberry bushes -- among so.much.more. Essentially, "Crazy Helen", as she's been called as a testament to her forthrightness and strength, was "green" before it was cool to be green.

We'd swim all day.
I'd constantly get in trouble.
(Ask my cousins. I was an easy target. They totally set me up.)

And at dinner during the summers we'd eat whatever Gram made that day and always a fruit/vegetable. If we were good we could drink a red Faygo, too.

But about the food, enter: Creamed Cucumbers.

Clearly, I'm a food blogger with a professional food photography studio.


Vinegary, crunchy goodness served in her silver metal bowl with the o-ring handle on the side.

I had a hankering for them this past weekend because it's already SUMMER here. (I live on the sun.)  And, because it's a side-dish my Mom always made, too.

I looked for a non-mayo-based cucumber salad online and couldn't find a recipe that sounded like what I remembered. So, I threw this together and it was pretty much as I had remembered it.

2 large, cooled cucumbers. (We always keep ours in the fridge. Don't you?)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 HEAPING tablespoon of sour cream (or crema, if you're in Cabo)
A bit of dill
A bit of salt and pepper.

1. Peel the cucumbers and thinly slice them. We counted and we got to 60 slices on one cucumber before Lila and I got bored of counting.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sour cream (or maybe even greek yogurt would be good?), the dill and salt and pepper.

3. Pour on the cucumbers and wah-la! A delightful treat for you to tweak and enjoy over the summer. (Refrigerate it, this is something that gets better as a bit of time goes on. And, it's not something that you want to leave sitting out at a summer potluck.)

**Note: My mom always used white onions in hers, but I didn't think Lila would go for that.

**Also Note: I read that some people include red peppers. Interesting.

Yum. Yay Summer. Yay Grandma. Yay Mom.



  1. One of my favorite recipes, our family makes it all the time (with the onion).

    1. YUM. It's a good one. I prefer the onion, too.

  2. 1). our lives overlap in the weirdest of ways.
    2). i LOVE aggravation - don and nancy taught me how to play and we play every time i go home to Ohio
    3). my grandma also made this recipe - one was SC based and one was just vinegar-based. she used a little while onion on both (and you are nice to leave it out for Lila).
    MMMMMMMMMMMM.... i need to make it this week now that i'm craving it. i'll bet it would be a-ok with greek yogurt. but SC is the O-G...
    Love, Miss

    1. 1.) It's strange how true that statement is.
      2.) It's a GREAT game. I need to buy it. I decided that yesterday.
      3.) I like the vinegar one, too (which kind of vinegar did she use?) but I love the sour cream one. Did you know there's a mayo-based one, too? Ew.

    2. no thank you on mayo, but SC (or greek yogurt), yes please! i think she used regular vinegar (not apple cider), but i'll ask my mom just to be safe. ;) get aggravation! i think Lila could even learn in a year or two (maybe now. she's a smart one).

  3. I love family recipes. What's the best about them is that they are almost always served in the same dish. So cool. The lake as TONs of bowls and platters that are for that dish only. What? You can't put the potato salad on the hot dog dish! LOL.

    1. Ah, but there's such comfort in doing things exactly.the.same.way.for.50.years. :)

      Love it.

  4. This salad is ALL about the dill! I love dill and cannot get enough of it--I even just sprinkle it on cucumbers as a snack...Thanks for reminding me how much I love this stuff...and send some of that "summer" back home. It's freaking sNOwing here today....sigh....

  5. Am I the only person who has never heard of cucumber salad?!?! It sounds light and refreshing, but also different....though I enjoy everything individually in it. I feel I need to make it out of curiosity!

    I LOVE family recipes, things passed down over the years and generations. It is probably the thing I enjoy most about cooking :-)

    (Also, I have never heard of that game either.....what hole have I been living in for the past 34 years?!?!)


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