Cu­cum­bers - Cool re­fresh­ing crunch

The Saline Courier Weekend - - SPORTS - KRIS BOULTON

Cu­cum­bers are one veg­etable that I like to eat when it is hot out­side. Add them to a salad and it not only adds tex­ture but a cool re­fresh­ing crunch as well I be­lieve one day we will get to fall and pump­kins but it is still now.

To­day we find cu­cum­bers that range from thick, stubby lit­tle fruits, three to four inches long, up to the great English green­house va­ri­eties that often reach a length of nearly two feet.

Cu­cum­bers pro­vide potas­sium, vi­ta­min K, mag­ne­sium and fiber. Potas­sium helps main­tain healthy blood pres­sure, vi­ta­min K and mag­ne­sium help build and main­tain strong bones, and fiber helps con­trol choles­terol and keeps you reg­u­lar. Most of the nu­tri­ents in a cu­cum­ber are found in the skin, so keep­ing the skins on will boost nu­tri­ent value.

The so-called “gherkins” that we buy pick­led in bot­tles or glass jars are sim­ply pick­led small cu­cum­bers. The true gherkin, or West In­dian gherkin, is a dif­fer­ent species rarely grown in the United States. The true gherkin pro­duces a warty

(or “prickly”) oval fruit about an inch long.

Lucky for cu­cum­ber lovers, they are avail­able year round in su­per­mar­kets and are avail­able at your lo­cal Gate­way Farm­ers Mar­ket and road­side stands from July to Oc­to­ber.

When choos­ing cu­cum­bers, look for those that are firm, green and slen­der. Avoid those with soft spots or wrin­kled skin. Store un­washed cu­cum­bers in a mois­ture-proof bag in the re­frig­er­a­tor up to 1 week.

To use them, wipe off any vis­i­ble dirt. Then rinse un­der cool run­ning wa­ter and scrub the outer layer well be­fore eat­ing or us­ing in recipes. Eat­ing with the skin on gives max­i­mum nu­tri­tional value; how­ever, if you must peel, use a veg­etable peeler. You may wish to re­move the seeds of older cu­cum­bers since they can be­come bit­ter, by slic­ing length­wise and scoop­ing the seeds out with a spoon.

Cu­cum­bers are best eaten raw or barely cooked. They can be eaten plain as a snack or an ap­pe­tizer, and sliced or chopped for sal­ads. They also are great dipped in low­fat dress­ing or other low fat dips. Try adding sliced cu­cum­bers to sand­wiches as well for an added crunch.

A one half cup of fresh cu­cum­ber, has only 10 calo­ries due to their high wa­ter con­tent. It has zero fat, sodium or pro­tein, and con­tains only 2 grams of car­bo­hy­drates.

For more in­for­ma­tion, con­tact the Sa­line County Ex­ten­sion Of­fice, 501-3035672 or visit us in Ben­ton at 1605 Edi­son Av­enue,

Suite 15. We are on­line at kboul­ton­c­[email protected], on Sa­line.

This cu­cum­ber dip is great served with veg­etable slices, or thin crack­ers and is so easy to make. It is even bet­ter if you can make it 30 min­utes be­fore and let the fla­vors blend to­gether. Cu­cum­ber Dip

2 medium cu­cum­bers, peeled, seeded and chopped 2 green onions, sliced

1/2 cup plain yo­gurt 2 ta­ble­spoons le­mon juice 1 ta­ble­spoon cider or white vine­gar

1 clove gar­lic, crushed Process all in­gre­di­ents in blender un­til smooth. Chill for at least 10 min­utes be­fore serv­ing. PHYS­I­CAL THER­APY

I’d never had phys­i­cal ther­apy be­fore

So I didn’t know what to ex­pect,

I re­ally liked the trac­tion part, Just not what hap­pened next. Quick as a flash, with­out any warn­ing,

My pants were pulled down low.

My first thought was to slap the young man

And pull up my pants and go. Now, I may be over the hill,

But I do still have some mod­esty,

And hav­ing my ‘be­hind’ to­tally bare

Was quite a shock to me.

But then I thought, “what the heck,”

I might as well see this through.

How­ever, I was be­gin­ning to won­der

Just what I’d got­ten my­self into. Soon af­ter the ini­tial shock,

The ther­apy be­gan to feel good.

But when he fin­ished, I asked him

To do one thing for me if he could.

The next time he has a new pa­tient,

‘Spe­cially a woman as old as me,

Warn them about what he’s go­ing to do

Be­fore he starts their ther­apy. — Becky Townsend

Ben­ton

ON A SUN­DAY AF­TER­NOON

We sprawled across a quilt in front of her fire­place play­ing phono­graph records, laugh­ing ner­vously... on a Sun­day af­ter­noon.

Her mom brought pop­corn and sweet iced tea.

Her pop cleared his throat be­hind the news­pa­per... on a sunny af­ter­noon.

We talked of school and class­mates.

She had just turned thir­teen and I, plus two... on a glow­ing af­ter­noon.

She draped her silk scarf across my face as I held her hand and traced quilt pat­terns... on a flam­ing af­ter­noon.

I pledged that mo­ment to pro­tect this an­gel, lov­ingly, for­ever, from guys like me... on a lov­ing af­ter­noon.

Now with weath­ered hand I trace a quilted face and lis­ten to the mu­sic from grand­daugh­ter’s room... on a Sun­day af­ter­noon. —Dewell Byrd

De­ceased

BE­YOND WORDS

Fall is com­ing on strong,

It is beau­ti­ful and bright. I should write down a poem In black and white.

But words can’t de­scribe

This sea­son of won­der

So, I’ll just step aside

So you can see it in color.

— Mike Pa­fundi

De­ceased

OUT­DOOR MOVIE

Tif­fany webs form on my shed where once were cold hang­ing beds, no longer, drip­ping, shiny spikes; now clings the art of spi­ders’ might.

I watch danc­ing shad­ows of leaves as sun glides the dance roof with ease, no longer snow white, flat and bare;

I see Na­ture’s pic­tures shown there.

Once in a while a bee comes by to show off and state, “I can fly.” “Don’t buzz too close to spi­der’s web.

You might be­come part of my shed.” — Cathy Parker Alexan­der

CINQUAIN

Au­tumn’s color now lies un­der­foot—a mostly yel­low car­pet for those walk­ing their dogs. — Pat Laster Ben­ton

•••

To sub­mit po­ems for pub­li­ca­tion, send po­ems of 16 or fewer lines to Den­nis Pat­ton, 2512 Springhill Cir­cle, Alexan­der, AR 72002, or pat­[email protected]­mail. com. The Sa­line County Branch of PRA meets at 1 p.m. at the Ash­ley Street Fire Sta­tion, 220 South Main, Ben­ton, the fourth Satur­day each month through May and Septem­ber through Oc­to­ber, and the third Satur­day of Novem­ber and De­cem­ber.

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