Tag Archives: cucumber

What the cucumber?

14 Aug

As of the beginning-ish of May, Paul and I have lived in an apartment complex here in New Hampshire. It’s a nice place, a little small, but very quiet and full of nice people. One of the perks of this place is the garden plots.

We were able to snatch one up upon moving in, and have been tending to a good sized plot of dirt, trying to grow things. Our pole beans seem to be positioned in just the right spot that they are doing very well, but our cucumber plants (that we were sure would die shortly after planting) have been doing great! We put in a bush variety, not ever hearing of a cucumber bush. Sure enough, we needed to trellis them. But anyway, our first cucumber looked like a lemon!

What the heck, cucumber?!

Upon slicing, we found that it looked more like a cucumber inside. And it tasted good, as have the subsequent cucumbers that look more like cucumbers than lemons.

Last week, I found out how easy it is to make your own nut butter. I’ve been on a long search, trying to find the best natural peanut butter (I think I found it – Once Again Crunchy, no salt, opinions?), but I had a feeling I was missing something. So I headed out to my co-op to buy a pound of almonds. I went with the dry roasted, no salt almonds, instead of raw. I could have roasted them in my oven, but I was feeling lazy and didn’t know how this was going to pan out.

After less than ten minutes in my food processor (with a pinch of sea salt added), voila! Almond butter! The best I’ve ever had? Indubitably.

I’ve been putting it on everything lately, even just on spoons that go directly into my mouth.

And then I try to justify it with the “you’ve been training so hard for this half marathon you need calories” talk. More on that tomorrow.

Farmer’s Market Couscous Salad

28 Apr

I do not trust Brenna around seasonings. You know what she does with herbs and spices?

Terrorism.

She also just does things that scare me. The other night we made popcorn and she says, “You know what would go good in this popcorn? Cinnamon and cranberries.” My sanity teetered on the brink of uh insanity for a minute. Then she did it and it was good, but I still felt like there was something wrong with the world.

That’s actually a bad example, now that I read it. Though I was coming from a mindset of SALT AND SOME FORM OF OIL. Her weird combinations usually involve something like ground mustard.

Okay, I’m rambling. Anyhow, the Ithaca Farmers Market is open now so we went. I did not see a single farmer for sale! (Ba dum bum tish!) Pickings were slim. I bought some kale. Brenna wanted to buy some stuff and make food with it and she ended up walking away with chives and lemon thyme. After brainstorming ingredients (I think chickpeas was my only contribution) we got the rest at Wegman’s.

Let me editorialize for a minute. I kind of mislike the Ithaca Farmers Market. Most farmers markets you go to and buy directly from the farmer, putting money directly into their pockets, cutting out the middle man, and saving you money. Ithaca? Not so. Farmers Market prices are more expensive than grocery store prices. Now, I can’t blame the farmers. Ithaca has a substantial yuppie-hippie population that loves to do things like buy organic and local and all that, so the demand is there. Farmers can jack their prices. But still, the result is that I tend not to go there as a result.

So, couscous salad: I’m going to try to recreate the recipe the best that I can, but since Brenna did most of the thinking and I just chopped veggies it might be off.

I need to get better lighting.

Ingredients!

2 cups couscous

1 15 oz. can chickpeas

1 cucumber, chopped

1 tomato, chopped

1 large carrot, chopped

juice of 1 lemon

chives and lemon thyme chopped up and added – I’m not sure of the measurements but maybe half a cup of each?

salt to taste

Directions!

Cook your couscous. Let it chill. Then mix in all the other stuff. Blam!

I might have added some olive oil to this mix, and afterwards Brenna said she wished she’d picked up an orange bell pepper. That might have been good. But still, this was really great. The lemon thyme was badass. I’d never even heard of the stuff.

-Bret