Waste not, want not

Fresh garden cucumbers were one of my biggest revelations of the year. I loved watching those bad boys start out as teeny buds and explode into large, sweet cucumbers. It pleased me to no end to discover that we actually had two cucumber plants in the garden, rather than two cantaloupe plants, thanks to a fortuitous mislabeling.

When I pulled the second cucumber plant out of the ground to make way for a bed of arugula, I clipped one last cucumber from the vine. It was a good-sized vegetable, probably the biggest I’d harvested yet because I hadn’t noticed it growing. By the time I’d discovered its stealthy development, it was hale and hearty.

So I clipped it, brought it in, and put it in the refrigerator drawer, planning, at the time, to use it in one last spectacular cucumber dish.

And then I forgot completely about it.

Two weeks ago, we had some marginal dill in the drawer, and I spotted the cucumber hiding beneath it. The thought of a cucumber-dill salad, perhaps with rice wine vinegar, crossed my mind. It sounded refreshing and appropriate, a clean way to use the final cuke of the season.

I can’t remember why I didn’t take immediate action, but I’m sure it had something to do with an elaborate combination of schedule issues and weather concerns. Who wants to eat a cool cucumber salad on a gray day in October?

Fuzzy cucumberOn Saturday, as I perused the refrigerator for the makings of lunch, I spotted the cucumber again. My spirits lifted, and I extracted it from the produce drawer.

My spirits fell. I’d waited too long, and the cucumber had grown mushy and fuzzy during its long sojourn in the drawer. I wasted the last cucumber of summer.

2 Responses to “Waste not, want not”

  1. 1 Carol October 24, 2006 at 6:25 pm

    Don’t be too hard on yourself, it happens to all of us. Besides, it might have been bitter anyway, which sometimes happens with cucumbers that get a little too big and ripe on the vine.

  2. 2 inadvertentgardener October 24, 2006 at 11:51 pm

    Carol, I’m going to console myself with that thought. I’ll admit, I was disappointed, but also a little bemused. As obsessive as I was this summer, who’d have thought I’d forget about a cucumber!

    :-) Genie

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