Did earlier generations ever deal with frozen cucumbers? Maybe frozen cukes were the “new popsicle” in some day and age? Or maybe cucumbers were eaten before they could freeze in the winter during pioneering days?
All I know is, I’ve got half a cucumber from the back of my fridge and I’m not quite sure what to do with it.
I just googled, but all the recipes involve salting the cucumbers first …. presumably to draw out the water and freezer-pickle them.
Ah, here we go. From The Complete Cook Book (Philadelphia, 1900), by Jennie Day Reese – reproduced here from The Old Foodie:
Take six large green cucumbers, cut a slice lengthwise from each one, and with a silver teaspoon or your fingers remove the seeds and pulp, and throw the hulls in cold water until ready to use. Peel and chop coarsely two whole cucumbers, add to them the seeds and pulp of the other six and let it stand in salted ice water one hour. Cucumbers should have a thick peeling taken off of them, as they are bitter near the skin.Now drain the water from them, add two tablespoonfuls of chopped chives, one teaspoonful of grated onion, two tablespoonfuls of chopped celery, one tablespoonful of Durkee’s dressing, one cup of mayonnaise salt and tabasco sauce to taste. Color with spinach green and freeze. When frozen stuff the cucumber hulls with it, place them on fresh crisp lettuce leaves and serve at once. It should be a light green when frozen. This is new and beautiful as well as good.
From personal experience, I can attest to why they freeze the spinach but not the lettuce. Trust me, folks, don’t freeze your lettuce.
Frozen salad boats – quite a concept.