Paisley Plant of the Week: Lemon Cucumber

Paisley Plant of the Week: Lemon Cucumber

The Paisley Plant of the week is…(drum roll here) Lemon Cucumber.

Cucumber: Cucumis sativus

Variety: Lemon or True Lemon This is classified as an heirloom that was introduced in 1894

 I love to grow cucumbers. This year I have six different types going on the cucumber fences. My favorite cucumber is the Lemon (sometimes called True Lemon) Lemon cucumbers are the approximate size, shape, and color of a lemon, but their flavor is pure sweet cuke. The skins are very thin and tender so they need no peeling. These little guys make awesome pickles but are delicious straight from the garden.

Lemon Cucumber vine-Flint, TX July 2011

The vines are vigorous but quite manageable. The plants have good tolerance to most of the things that aim to sink them. I have on occasion fought powdery mildew with this variety. I have learned to water these guys only in the morning so they can be completely dry in the evenings. They like that.

Other than that, enjoy a bountiful harvest of Lemon Cucumbers. I’m giving a couple of recipes you might enjoy as well. Oooh so paisley!

Lemon Cucumber Flint, TX August 2011

From Jillicious Discoveries

Bread-and-Butter Pickle Slices
From So Easy to Preserve, pgs. 125-126


Yields = 7-8 pints6 pounds of 4 to 5-inch pickling cucumbers *I used mostly lemon cucumbers and one large Armenian cucumber.
8 cups thinly sliced onions /about 3 pounds *I used a mixture of walla walla onions and yellow onions
1/2 cup canning salt *It’s very important to use “canning” or “pickling” salt, rather than table salt. Other salts contain anti-caking materials and this can make the brine or liquid cloudy.
Crushed or cubed ice
4 cups vinegar (5%) *Use vinegar of 5-percent acidity. Do not use homemade vinegar or vinegar that you don’t know the acidity of in pickling. Also, do not dilute the vinegar, because you will be diluting the preservative effect.
4 1/2 cups sugar
2 Tbsp. mustard seed
1 1/2 Tbsp. celery seed
1 Tbsp. ground turmericPreparation:

1) Wash cucumbers. Cut 1/6-inch off blossom end and discard. Cut into 3/16-inch rings.
2) Combine cucumbers and onions in a large bowl. Add canning salt.

3) Cover with 2 inches crushed or cubed ice. Refrigerate 3 to 4 hours, adding more ice as needed.
To Make Pickles:1) Add sugar and remaining ingredients to vinegar in a large pot. Boil 10 minutes.2) Add well drained cucumbers and onions and slowly reheat to boiling.
3) Fill pint or quart jars with cucumber & onion slices, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Fill to 1/2 inch from top with hot cooking liquid. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rims. Adjust lids.4) Process pints or quarts for 10 minutes in a Boiling Water Bath. After processing and cooling, jars should be stored 4 to 5 weeks before use to develop ideal flavor.*Remember after removing jars from Boiling Water Bath, they should remain undisturbed for 12 hours before moving them to storage.
Just look at all the spices mixed with the onions and pickles–if you let them sit 4 to 5 weeks as suggested by the recipe to fully develop the flavor, it will be so worth the wait!

 

I also use Lemon Cucumbers for an appetizer.

Simply rub the outside of the cucumber vigorously to remove the little prickles, cut in half, scoop the insides so they look like this:

Lemon Cuke bowl ready to fill

Fill with your favorite filler. albacore tuna, garlic cream cheese, onion dip, I’ve even been known to fill them with blueberries and whipped cream. These cucumbers are so sweet they complimented beautifully. Enjoy this lovely, paisley selection.

 

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