Spiky but sweet

First cuke on the vineI’ve waited for our first cucumber, watching it closely, trying to decide how long to let it grow before we clipped it off the vine and ate it. On Sunday, I’d waited long enough.

Things I have learned include that cucumbers are spiky little buggers. By the time I picked our first Marketmore, it was probably half as spiky as it had been just a couple of days ago, but it still had little pin-pricky thorns sticking from the skin.

I’m used to supermarket cucumbers, waxed and buffed and aged until they’re bitter and smooth. Supermarket cucumbers, apparently, are like women who have had too much plastic surgery.

I brought in the cucumber and showed it to Steve, then put it in the fridge for safe keeping. I had plans to serve it with a light dressing of rice vinegar and salt, something easy and bright, something that would let its flavor shine through.

Last night, I took it the six-inch cucumber out of the refrigerator and peeled it. As I sliced it up, I took a bite.

“Um, Steve, do you mind if we just eat this while I finish up dinner?” I asked.

It might have been the sweetest cucumber I’ve ever tasted. Absolutely fabulous. My little rice-vinegar-and-salt plan would have just deadened the flavor.

First cuke with squash blossomAnd there are more growing, folks. We are in shape for such the cucumber score this summer.

Just to put this into context, it’s not like I haven’t eaten plenty of cucumbers from the farmer’s market before. I’ve had what I considered to be great cucumbers. But this one, maybe because we grew it ourselves, maybe because I picked it just a bit earlier than a farmer might have, was like dessert.

And to think…we came this close to sacrificing this particular plant. Funny how things work out.

P.S. That zucchini blossom in the photo? That’s another story for another day. Trust me…it’s worth the wait. Update: And now you don’t have to wait any longer!

7 Responses to “Spiky but sweet”

  1. 1 kalyn July 12, 2006 at 7:49 am

    “Store cucumbers are like women who have had too much plastic surgery.! Love it!!

    Garden fresh cucumbers are amazing aren’t they!! It ruins you for other cucumbers.

  2. 2 steven July 12, 2006 at 8:25 am

    And this is why we’re all nuts for vegetable gardening. There is NOTHING to compare to the flavor of vegetables that go from the garden to the plate, every minute veggies are off the plant they lose flavor.

  3. 3 Carol July 12, 2006 at 11:49 am

    I just ate my first cucumbers of the season. I heartily agree, there is nothing like fresh,home grown cucumbers eaten right away at their peak. Nothing like it!

  4. 4 chowrescue July 12, 2006 at 6:52 pm

    I really like this benevolence theme and your header is perfect…. I like the fonts and the boldness. Your garden is lovely.

  5. 5 inadvertentgardener July 12, 2006 at 10:03 pm

    Kalyn, you know, a few years ago, I allowed farmer’s market tomatoes to ruin me for supermarket tomatoes, which I almost never buy anymore (except in emergencies). I’m about to get there with cukes, as well.

    Steven and Carol, you’re totally right, and I never quite realized the extent of this before this year. It’s a good thing to come to realize, believe me.

    Chowrescue, you’re so sweet! Thanks for visiting and for the lovely comments.

  1. 1 Waste not, want not « The Inadvertent Gardener Trackback on October 23, 2006 at 6:11 pm
  2. 2 The first cut is the deepest « The Inadvertent Gardener Trackback on July 26, 2007 at 7:03 pm

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