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September 13, 2012: Summer Punch

September 13, 2012

Here in New England we’ve already had a couple of cold-ish nights, a sure sign that there is more cold not too far down the road. So this recipe may be coming a tad late, as it is a perfect thirst quencher for a hot day, and just different enough to make it interesting.

My sweet neighbor Cindy, has been feeding me fresh veggies from her garden for a couple of weeks now, and they all have been very appreciated. The fresh beans, tomatoes, squash, and the latest…cucumbers, have been just delicious! Cindy gave me a couple of cukes the other day, but only after I had picked up a few from the reduced produce rack, so I had to come up with a way to use them so that none went to waste. I came up with not one, but two slightly odd (but delicious) recipes. Summer Punch is a mix of lemon, apple, and cucumber juices. The Cucumber “Pudding” was, at first, just a way of using the part of the cucumber not used for the punch, but I ended up liking this recipe perhaps even more than the punch recipe.

Summer Punch:
Skin two medium cucumbers, slice in half and de-seed with small spoon and put the seeds/pulp in a sieve with a bowl underneath. Lightly crush seeds/pulp with a pestle and let drain as you finely grate the rest of cucumbers in another bowl. Discard seeds and pulp and add the grated cukes to the sieve to get a total of about 1/2C. cucumber juice. To cucumber juice, add 1Tblsp. lemon juice and 1.5C. unsweetened apple juice. Serve with ice and a slice of lemon.

Cucumber “Pudding:”
With the pulp (NOT the seeded pulp…the pulp from the flesh of the cukes) left over after the juices for the Summer Punch have been drained, add an equal amount of your favorite yogurt. Plain is fine, lemon…even better. The best buy for yogurt today was…stay with me…bannana…and I thought it was just fantastic! Add a sprinkle of cardamon and serve right away. The crunch of the fresh cukes is a wonderful texture, and I got the feeling that if left too long in the yogurt, the cukes would get too mushy.

Two recipes for the price of one. Thank you Cindy, for all the fresh food, for the inspiration to these healthy recipes and for keeping the “price” near to zip!

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