It can’t be 2019 already, can it? Where’s 2018 gone? Gone far too quick, that’s for sure. Seems like only yesterday I was saying a Happy New Year to you all. I hope you’ve all enjoyed the recent festivities. Ours was quiet, just as we like it, with my mother, Dave and I together over the period. This year, for a change we opted for a traditional Christmas dinner of turkey, including sprouts, followed by Christmas pudding, something Dave would never eat once upon a time. Now he asks for it and is hoping when we go shopping next the store will have some left. He even enjoyed the mince pies, Lebkucken biscuits and Stollen –things he’s always turned his nose up to before. He’s also ventured into the pleasure of eating yoghurt, and curries. (Okay, who is this man and what have you done with the real Dave?) Click here to read more:
Some interesting facts and uses for cucumber you may not know which I have recently come across and wanted to share.
And of course there are numerous ways to enjoy eating them so why not pop over to Kit’s Kitchen after for some delicious, simple recipes.
- Cucumbers originate from South East Asia.
- Cucumbers are fruits, not vegetables, as are tomatoes.
- There are several types of cucumbers, some of which can grow over 2 foot long.
- China produces 76% of cucumber and gherkin production in the world.
- Cucumbers can be grown in soil or by hydroponic cultivation.
- The large leaves on a cucumber plant provide shading for the developing fruits.
- It takes just 12 weeks from sowing cucumber seed to harvesting the fruits.
- Some supermarket-bought cucumbers can be at least 2 weeks’ old.
- A raw cucumber is 95% water.
- A whole cucumber is just 16 calories, depending on length.
- They contain most of the vitamins you need every day. Each one has vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, and B6, as well as vitamin C, folic acid, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.
- Because they are a good source of B vitamins and carbohydrates they can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours and even curb that mid-afternoon food craving.
- Cucumbers have been used for centuries by European trappers, traders and explores for quick meals to thwart off starvation.
- Cucumbers were first pickled as way to preserve their shelf life.
- Small cucumbers are often referred to as gherkins.
- In Northern England, pickled cucumbers are sometimes called “wallies”.
- In Roman times, Emperor Tiberius had cucumber on his table daily all year round.
- Christopher Columbus is said to have taken cucumbers to Haiti in 1494.
- During the 17th century, hygiene prejudices meant uncooked foods, such as cucumber, fell out of favour.
- Cucumbers can cool the body and the blood, which gave rise to the phrase “as cool as a cucumber”.
- A slice of cucumber on the eyes can ease puffiness.
- The cooling effects of cucumber can soothe sunburn. Mix up a puree and apply it to affected areas.
- A slice of cucumber pressed to the roof of your mouth for 30 seconds can kill bacteria and freshen the breath.
- Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going out or to the pool? Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumber along your problem area for a few minutes. The phytochemicals in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite. Works great on wrinkles too.
- Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache.
- Stressed out and don’t have time for massage, facial or visit to the spa? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water. The chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber will react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown the reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams.
- Just finished a business lunch and realize you don’t have gum or mints? Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath, the phytochemicals will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath. (Hopefully there are a few sandwiches left that have a slice or two of cucumber in the filling, as one isn’t inclined to carry a cucumber in one’s briefcase!)
- Have an important meeting or job interview and you realize that you don’t have enough time to polish your shoes? Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe – its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.
- Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.
- Out of WD40 or oil, and no olive oil either to fix a squeaky hinge? Rub a cucumber slice along the problematic hinge, and the squeak is gone.
- Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few slices in an aluminium tin or plate and place in your garden. The chemicals in cucumber react with the aluminium to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drives garden pests crazy, making them flee the area.
- Looking for a “green” way to clean your taps, sinks or stainless steel? Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean, not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but is won’t leave streaks and won’t harm you fingers or fingernails while you clean.
- Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing, also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls.
And of course there are numerous ways to enjoy eating them. Why not pop over to Kit’s Kitchen for some delicious, simple cucumber recipes.
Hello Blog Readers
I’m back after a long break despite good intentions earlier this year to blog more frequently. Life has been chaotic in the Domino household since March with many setbacks, medical issues and other matters of which I shan’t bore you about, suffice to say we are now back to normal. I think. Well, as least as normal as it can be here.
Sadly, a brief summer seems to have passed us by and autumn is well and truly on the wind. The leaves are turning and dropping already and most of the garden flowers spent although a few are maintaining a colourful display. To be honest, it’s been looking quite good these past few months thanks to the extra effort put in by the other half now he’s retired. At the moment he’s busy putting up new soffits and guttering around the man-cave before winter exerts another toll upon the tools and man toys.
As for me, I’ve had a few setbacks and disappointments but none that cannot be overcome and move forward from. I’ve even managed to create some artwork this summer and can boast three on public display in a nearby town venue.
I’ve also had a few shocks this summer, the biggest being when one day the other half requested curry and rice for dinner. Curry? Is he serious? Oh, and can I put apple and sultanas in it too? In all of our 42 years together he’s never once asked for a curry, let alone eaten one. He’s always moaned and grumbled and groaned whenever I’ve had one out, even if simply chips with curry sauce! Okay, so who is this man and what have you done with the real Dave? So a mild chicken curry I made. Well, I say made, it was made using a Korma curry sauce curtesy of Aldi. And golly good it was too. And now a regular on the Friday lunch menu. Talking of menus…
As you are probably aware, or not, I am a great lover of Greek food. Greek anything, in fact. And sadly, I haven’t been able to get to Greece now for several years, the past two years with no holiday at all! (Can hear the violins playing already.) I love the dips, especially tzatziki and hummus but those ready-made ones from supermarkets are just not the same. I had a deep craving for hummus one balmy week in June but didn’t dare make one as Dave is allergic to garlic. The smell, the taste and the thought. He goes ape. He can’t stand it. What to do…? How to curb such a want. Dare I attempt to make one?
Yup. I picked up a couple of tins of chickpeas, opened one, read the instructions how to make – easy enough and blitzed away minus the garlic. It tasted bland, it tasted dull, it tasted … of nothing. Then came a lightbulb moment. Now, it might seem obvious to you but it wasn’t to me until that moment. I added a dollop of roasted onion chutney to the mixture and voilà. Wonderful roast onion hummus I could eat until the cows came home, well… until it was all gone, without him moaning and groaning about it. It would have been even better with some garlic, but hey ho, this little beggar can’t have it all ways and this was better than none at all. So here’s the recipe.
1 400g tin of cooked chickpeas – drained and rinsed.
2 teaspoons of tahini
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
3 tablespoons of olive oil
Put all the ingredients into a food processor and whizz to desired consistency.
Then add 1 tablespoon of onion chutney and blitz for a few seconds, add more lemon juice/oil/chutney to taste.
It even freezes well too.
Shame I can’t get Dave to try it. Perhaps one day he’ll surprise me again.