Cucumbers - Cool refreshing crunch
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
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
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
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
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.